Upsetting
Monday, July 28, 2003
 
Politicians live or die by their defining moment. For George W. Bush, it was Sept. 11. For Gov. Gray Davis, it was the energy crisis of '01 -- and in most voters' eyes, he came up short.

"No question about it," said pollster Mark DiCamillo, who has been tracking Davis for the past five years. "That was the trigger. That's when he crossed the line.

"Look at the numbers," DiCamillo said. "In January of that year, Davis' approval ratings were at 57 percent. Four months later they were under 36 percent."

Davis never recovered.

"In the public's mind, he was fiddling while Rome burned," said UC Berkeley political science Professor Bruce Cain.
 
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