When all is said and done, there's no Democrat on the horizon who's the odds-on favorite and there are a lot of unknowns about the Democrats. So when you compare the governor with them, he's still competitive.
When politicians try to move from negative to positive, it really is a two-step process. People don't go straight from negative to positive. They go from negative to undecided, and then maybe to positive.
As the special election has dragged on, one of the side effects have been greater voter cynicism about the reasons the governor called the election, ... The governor has never been able to sell them on the idea and have questioned his motives.
The president, in our perspective, is in uncharted territory because he has a really long tenure left and yet he has very low job performance ratings in just his sixth year. Whether he is able to turn it around depends a lot on Iraq. But the events in Iraq seem largely out of his or U.S. control.
It's the increasingly partisan rancor that characterizes the Congress. The very partisan Republican orientation of the House is not very well received. The public wants compromises to be reached and they generally don't see many of those things taking place in Congress these days.
So many seats in California are safe, and that's true nationally, too. So the opportunities for the out-of-power party to gain (seats in Congress) is really not that great. Most observers would say that only a few seats could change hands.
I think it's a two-step process and it looks like he's successfully getting people over in terms of step one to the undecided column. But there's a segment of voters who are withholding judgment. They know who Schwarzenegger is, but they are not sure.
It's a two-step process. First, people want to know who you are, why you're running, the whole nine yards. Then there's the second stage, where they ask the tougher policy questions about what you believe and what you'd do.
He's just not the right spokesman when it comes to communicating with Democrats and independents right now. That's contrasted with a year ago when he was considered a very credible spokesman and had very high approval ratings.