It's do or die time for California Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides -- but he's mostly dying. With just a handful of weeks to go in the re-election race of Governor Schwarzenegger, new polls show Angelides trailing by as much as 17%.
Next week is the only televised debate of the campaign and most observers believe that if Angelides doesn't land some sort of knock-out punch he will be doomed for defeat in November. The new polls show that while Arnold has sewn up Republican support, Angelides is attracting only about 3 out of 5 California Democrats. Independents, meanwhile, are tilting toward the incumbent.
Some California unions, including the prison guards, teachers, and service employees have just rolled out a multi-million TV ad campaign slamming the Governator as too conservative to govern one of the bluest states in the union. And Angelides has come up with a new campaign tack of calling for the withdrawal of California National Guard troops from the conflict in Iraq.
But nothing seems to be slowing Arnold's momentum. He has made recent deals with the Democratic legislature on raising the minimum wage, lowering prescription drug prices and has just signed the most advanced anti-Global Warming legislation in the country.
Angelides' slumping campaign is now beginning to worry other California Democrats. Could his stall-out depress Democratic turn-out and in November and erode the chances of other down-ballot candidates? Worried Democrats want to know.