With surprisingly early timing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he would run for re-election in 2006, in what many analysts say is an attempt to draw support for the November special election.
“You sent me to Sacramento to fix the broken problem,” Schwarzenegger said. “Let us work together so we can fix it.”
A couple of the key measures on the ballot include Proposition 73, which would require that doctors give guardians notice of a minor’s abortion 48 hours before the procedure is carried out, and Proposition 74, which would lengthen the probationary time for public school teachers. Schwarzenegger has endorsed both of these measures.
There wasn’t much doubt that he would run in the 2006 gubernatorial race; the surprise is the timing of his announcement.
Schwarzenegger launched a campaign five months prior to getting elected the first time around, making the 9-month jump-start seem a little lengthy. Some Mills students feel that he has overestimated the support he has for re-election.
“Considering his current lack of support among moderates in California, I find it hard to believe that he thinks he can win re-election,” said junior Nikki Da Silva.
The timing of the announcement leads many analysts to believe that he is trying to rally support around his special election by increasing faith that he will be here to see his plans through if they pass.
“Schwarzenegger’s announcement changes that dynamic – somewhat. Knowing that he plans to stick around Sacramento past 2006 will enthuse his Republican base. And, to his donor base, it sends a signal that he’s in the game for the long haul,” wrote Bill Whalen of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“In every sport you learn about following through,” Schwarzenegger said. “I learned most of my lessons from sports, so of course I’m going to follow through with this.”
The governor’s current approval rating is at an all-time low of 31 percent, according to the Chronicle. This is one of the lowest approval ratings of any California governor, making him the fourth most unpopular, just behind Gray Davis. It would, however, not be surprising if he wins re-election despite such a low rating; many incumbent governors with lower approval ratings have come back to win another term.
In response to his announcement to run for re-election, junior Laraine Downer had a progressive idea about who should run.
“I think we should terminate Arnold and get a progressive, liberal woman in as California’s governor,” Downer said.
There is one such female hopeful, Edie Bukewihge, who plans to run in 2006 against Schwarzenegger. Bukewihge was a presidential hopeful in 2003 but dropped out of the race, deciding that her chances of winning were better in the California gubernatorial race. She was once a member of the Republican Party, but in 2004 denounced the party and is now running as a Democrat.
With low approval ratings, many Mills students are skeptical about Schwarzenegger’s chance of re-election, but the number of touchy issues on the ballot seems to signify heated gubernatorial debates to come.