Arnie ahead as race gets dirty

Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger has maintained his poll lead before California's recall election, despite allegations that threaten his attempt to become the state's next governor.

    Muscle-man is wrestling with a steady stream of sex allegations

    An NBC poll published on Sunday gave the former bodybuilder 37% of the vote, compared to 29% for California's Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.


    California is the world’s sixth largest in economy, ahead of China -  excluding Hong Kong.


    About 16% of respondents remain undecided two days before the recall vote scheduled for Tuesday, according to the survey of 1000 registered voters.


    Schwarzenegger's support appeared to be holding, despite 11th hour allegations that he once expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.


    Fresh allegations


    The actor also tried to parry fresh accusations that he groped and harassed women. The Los Angeles Times on Sunday reported the muscleman had touched four women in a sexual manner without their consent, bringing the total number of such revelations to 15.

    “Many of those things are not true. Like, for instance, I despise anything and everything that Hitler stands for”

    Arnold Schwarzenegger


    Schwarzenegger, a Republican, launched his own attack on incumbent Governor Gray Davis, accusing him of waging  “puke politics”.


    “Many of those things are not true. Like, for instance, I despise anything and everything that Hitler stands for” Schwarzenegger said in a TV interview.


    Also on Sunday, California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein appeared in a TV commercial, describing the recall as unfair and questioning whether Schwarzenegger was fit to govern.


    Clinton on side


    The party has also enlisted former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, actor Martin Sheen and musical diva Barbara Streisand to tape phone messages for a massive anti-recall vote campaign aimed at wayward Democrats.


    The allegations against Schwarzenegger “raise serious questions about whether he can govern California”, Davis told supporters on Sunday, Reuters reported.


    During Schwarzenegger’s four-day bus trip around the state, he was met by foes carrying signs reading “Arnold release the Hitler tapes,” a reference to out takes from the movie Pumping Iron in which he apparently expressed admiration for Hitler, and “Arnold, are your daughters pieces of meat?”



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