State officials are expected to declare on Wednesday that enough voters’ signatures have been collected by the governor’s opponents to trigger a rare ‘recall’ election.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that county officials had confirmed more than 1.1 million valid signatures on the petition to recall Gov. Gray Davis — well above the threshold necessary to force a vote on removing Davis from office.
California’s secretary of state, responsible for certifying if enough signatures have been collected, has similarly said that Davis’ opponents appeared to have succeed in gathering enough signatures.
The campaign to recall Davis comes as recent surveys show his popularity has been sliding to record depths – down to around 25 percent according to various local polls.
An LA Times survey in July indicated Californians were angry about an unprecedented $38 billion deficit in the budget. Davis also received very poor ratings for his handling his job overall, the state budget, the economy, energy and education.
Schwarzenegger: Running Man?
Several potential candidates have been preparing to decide soon whether to enter the race. These include US Congressman Darrell Issa (Republican), Los Angeles businessman Bill Simon Jr and Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, a Republican.
Schwarzenegger and wife Maria
Schwarzenegger’s political advisor George Gorton told AFP the movie star was “prepared for all options”.
Gorton said the bodybuilder-turned-actor would consult his family on whether to test his political muscle before making his decision.
The star returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday after a European tour to promote his movie Terminator 3 and would discuss his options with his wife Maria Shriver.
Shriver, in contrast to her husband’s political allegiance, is a member of the prominent Democratic Kennedy clan.