California Dreamin' and Scheming May Pay Off for Bush

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - Al Gore may need a "Bubba boost" in California, a state that Republican George W. Bush is actively courting. Writing in Thursday's New York Post, columnist Deborah Orrin notes that the Democrats' "savviest strategists" are crying out from California, urging President Clinton to campaign on behalf of Gore in the Golden State.

A state that's golden for whom? All along, Bush has said he intends to win California, and he's logged many campaign miles there.

He plans to visit California again in coming days and meanwhile, Republicans are pouring millions of advertising dollars into the state.

Gore, on the other hand, has simply gone to California to raise money from wealthy Hollywood donors, and he's not running any ads in a state he's now accused of taking for granted.

In the final weeks before the election, analysts are beginning to notice that Gore may not have California in the bag, after all.

Orin quotes California Democrat Paul Maslin - an adviser to Calif. Gov. Gray Davis: "Republicans have a money advantage," Maslin says, "and the scary thing is that they may be more energized. We [Democrats] have a Ralph Nader drag, and we have a turnout problem."

Other California Democrats agree. "I'd bring in the president," Gov. Davis' media man, David Doak, is quoted as saying.

According to Orin, "That makes three Davis strategists in two days to raise the alert to Gore over California -- consultant Garry South did it Tuesday."

Gore's lead in California has shrunk to under ten points in recent polls, and Orin says, "The Republicans are talking about an elaborate 'ground game' to get out the vote in California like never before."

See Earlier Story:
Wishful Thinking? Bush Not Giving Up on California (20 Sept. 2000)