Clinton, Giuliani expected to have supporting roles in recall
New poll shows drop in support for recall
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- California's summer blockbuster -- the gubernatorial recall -- is expected to soon have a couple of political guest stars -- Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
Numerous Democratic sources say that former President Clinton will appear with Democratic Gov. Gray Davis during a previously scheduled trip to California, set for September 15 to September 17. Jim Kennedy, a spokesman for Clinton, cautioned that nothing is set yet for any Clinton campaigning on behalf of Davis.
Clinton and Davis have been conferring about the recall for weeks, and a high-profile appearance by the former president with Davis could give the embattled governor a boost among Democratic loyalists.
On the Republican side, sources close to Giuliani, the popular former mayor of New York City, said he will endorse actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his bid to replace Davis should voters oust him on the October 7 ballot. Giuliani had been expected to campaign for his friend Bill Simon, but the GOP businessman dropped out of the race over the weekend.
No Giuliani-Schwarzenegger appearance has yet been scheduled.
New York's governor, George Pataki, is also getting into the act. A source close to Pataki said Monday that the governor is planning a $1,000-a-person fund raiser in Manhattan for Schwarzenegger. That fund raiser has tentatively been scheduled for September 18, according to the source, who said that Pataki may go to California to stump for Schwarzenegger.
The interest Clinton, Giuliani and Pataki apparently have in California's wild recall election underscores the importance both parties place on the politics of the nation's most populous state -- a coveted prize in the presidential electoral college. The state has the most electoral votes in the nation with 54.
Meanwhile, a new poll indicates the dynamics of the recall effort are changing, with some encouraging news for Davis.
A Los Angeles Times poll published Sunday found that 50 percent of California voters support recalling Davis, down from 58 percent in a Field Poll last week.
Another 45 percent said they would vote to keep Davis, a Democrat, in office, and 5 percent were undecided.
Davis heralded the decline in support for the recall.
"Some polls have had us 20 points behind," Davis said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." "This shows real momentum, only 5 points behind."
The poll's margin of error was plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
Among the field of 134 possible successors, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, leads Republican actor Arnold Schwarzenegger by 35 percent to 22 percent, the poll said.
Another Republican, state Sen. Tom McClintock, followed with 12 percent, followed by former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a Republican, with 7 percent.
McClintock, a conservative Republican, plans to unveil his first TV ad Tuesday, with a spokesman promising it will be a "vision piece on what California can be."
The 60-second spot is to begin airing Wednesday in California's Central Valley, spokeswoman Jennifer Cressy said.
On Monday, Ueberroth's campaign released a radio ad touting his success at running the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and describing the businessman as a proven problem solver.
Davis' 2002 challenger, Republican businessman Bill Simon, who received only 6 percent of the vote in the Times poll, dropped out of the race Saturday -- although his name will remain on the October 7 ballot.
Commentator Arianna Huffington, another independent, drew 3 percent. Huffington has launched television ads aimed at persuading voters who have skipped recent elections to go back to the polls.
The first part of the October 7 ballot will ask voters whether they want to toss Davis, who won a second term in November, out of office. The second part of the recall ballot will ask them to pick a replacement if the recall succeeds.
"If we get enough 'no' votes on the first question, then whatever Arnold Schwarzenegger does on the second question is of no significance," Davis said.
But Republican strategist Ed Rogers said the poll fails to take into account the motivations of likely voters.
"I would say, No. 1, the people to vote are the people that have problems with Gray Davis -- the people that feel most strongly," Rogers said.
"They don't want more of the same. The only candidate enthusiastically bringing voters to the ballot place is going to be Schwarzenegger."
The state's delegation of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives has urged voters to vote against the recall but to support Bustamante in case it succeeds.
But California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, has declined to endorse Bustamante, saying she will not vote for a replacement for Davis.
-- CNN Political Editor John Mercurio, Producer Claire Brinberg, Senior Producer Ronni Berke and Correspondent Kelly Wallace contributed to this report.