Election 2002: California: Leading By Default

California

Midway through a monotone recitation of his accomplishments to Hispanic conventioneers in Los Angeles last Friday, Governor Gray Davis, his blue suit perfectly pressed, stood ramrod straight on the podium and made an admission that came as no surprise. "My wife has all the charisma," Davis said. "I have zero." That same day his Republican opponent, Bill Simon Jr., was in Salinas, also courting Hispanic voters. Simon's message fell flat for a different reason. His campaign was reeling after Thomas Davis III, who heads the Republican party's Congressional Campaign Committee, called Simon's effort the "single worst-run race in the country."

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