Commentary

Is Davis really dead?

Teen slasher movies usually end with a scene where the villain is thought to be dead but then makes one final lunge at his adolescent prey. Gray Davis’ opponents may find themselves in a similar situation: [Prof. Bruce Cain, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California] said the combination of Republican infighting and Mr. Bustamante’s more extreme views could hand victory to Mr. Davis, who despite recent tilts to the left has mostly governed from the center. That combination, the professor said, could convince pragmatic voters that a Republican victory was impossible and that keeping Mr. Davis in Sacramento was the least unpalatable alternative. And remember, Davis vowed to fight like a Bengal tiger, and this tiger knows how to raise money: Aides to the governor said he was feeling more hopeful in part because the campaign was attracting the money and attention it needed and in part because internal polls indicated the trend shifting his way. The last public opinion poll, conducted two weeks ago by The Los Angeles Times, showed Mr. Davis losing by five percentage points, a much tighter margin than earlier in August. [Thanks to Raj for the tip.]

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.