Steve Hayward has it right. McClintock will not get out, nor should he. For two reasons. 1st, as I wrote several weeks ago, if there is a Republican spoiler in this race, it is Schwarzenneger and the anti-principled Wilson machine backing him. Several polls--those that are public and even those that were privately commissioned by Schwarzenneger backers such as the Lincoln Club of Orange County for the express purpose of getting evidence that would force McClintock to withdraw--have both McClintock and Schwarzenneger beating Bustamante in head to head competitions. The fight, then, is not between prudence and principle, siding with someone who can win (but is bad on principle) or siding with someone who is good on principle (but cant win). The fight, rather, is whether we win on the principled ground or win on the unprincipled ground.
Second, well be glad that McClintock is still in the race after Bob Mulholland unleashes the Schwarzenneger scandals ads this week. If too many people have already voted for Arnold via absentee to cost McClintock the election as the only viable alternative to the Davis/Bustamante machine, it will be the fault of those who coronated Arnold early in the process, without considering his positions, the views of the voters, or Arnolds utter lack of commitment to Republican principles (even his anti-tax campaign ads are contradicted by his ads, concurrently running, claiming that we need to raise taxes on Indian tribes!).
There are two ways for Republicans to win in this state. One is the Wilson way; by into enough of the lefts program to win over some center-left voters. The other is Reagans: Stand on principle; appeal to those who agree with the principle, particularly those who have not traditionally been affiliated with the Republican party--blue collar democrats for Reagan, conservative Hispanic Catholics now. With the voter animus against Davis, we had a historic opportunity to take the principled route, and our party establishment here has squandered it. Hurrary for Tom McClintock for not selling us down the river. Hurray for Bruce Herschensohn, Howard Ahmanson, and others for launching the independent expenditures cmapaign this week supporting McClintock.