** 10 PM UPDATE: In the latest Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) Poll, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a 13-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Treasurer Phil Angelides. The former action superstar leads the former state Democratic chairman, 43% to 30%. Running in a distant third, Green Party candidate Peter Camejo garners 4% of the vote, while the Libertarian and American Independent candidates each pick up 1% of the projected vote.
The numbers are a little different from the Field Poll and the credible private polls on both sides of the partisan aisle, for two reasons. First, PPIC does not do a push question at this stage of the campaign. Second, the minor party candidates are included, something which Field and most of the other pollsters are not doing.
The PPIC Poll is primarily about the environment, not the political horse race. There it shows very strong public support for measures to combat global warming — which well over 60% of likely voters believe is well underway — and air pollution, and to promote renewable power development and energy efficiency. Schwarzenegger’s job approval rating is up to 49% among likely voters, as in the Field Poll.
But, in something of a warning sign for the former Mr. Universe, his rating on the environment is not as high as his overall rating. In this, he is probably hurt on two fronts. First, he and his previous team did not emphasize his environmental moves. Second, he wears the Republican brand. And that brand is associated with President George W. Bush. And Bush is seen as antithetical to environmental concerns by the overwhelming majority of Californians.
So that is a glimmer of hope for Phil Angelides and his legions of fans.
In addition, the oil severance tax initiative, Proposition 87, designed to raise $400 million a year from a tax on oil at the wellhead, is running way ahead with over 60% of the vote. Public anger against the oil companies is real, and desire to raise money to develop and promote alternative fuels is a major factor.
** Tomorrow’s peak electric power demand, at something over 46,000 megawatts in the Cal ISO service area (minus the munis in LA, Sacramento, and smaller cities) is just a tad over what was forecast in the fall of 2003 for this summer and so is back on the normal track.
** 5:30 PM UPDATE: California’s electric power demand topped out at 47,744 megawatts in the Cal ISO service area, nearly 2500 megawatts less than forecast today. The load is now down to 46,503 megawatts. The crisis is over.
** San Francisco and Los Angeles made the final cut of three cities for the U.S. pick for the 2016 Olympics Games.
3 PM UPDATE: Today’s forecast peak electric power demand for California has dropped by over 2000 megawatts. Barring massive equipment failure, the crisis caused by the current extreme weather event is past.
** 1:15 PM UPDATE: California has broken the state record for electric power demand set last July for the 10th day in a row in this extreme weather event, as of 1:10 PM. However, the peak demand trendline for the day is running lower than the forecast.
Meanwhile, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tours a “cool center” set up by the state in the LA area. No late word on whether popsicles were available. Or whether pastels were optional in the obvious circumstance of black no longer being black.
** New West friend Marc Cooper is underwowed by Bush-style diplomacy in the Israel-Hezbollah War.
** Look for a New West Newsbreak on the California campaign tonight at 10 PM Pacific time.
** Common Cause and the League of Women Voters have endorsed the Clean Money initiative, Proposition 89 on California’s November ballot, sponsored by the California Nurses Association.
** Track California’s peak electric power demand, which is slowly declining during the current extreme weather event, in near real time with Cal ISO.
** Get continuous updates on global and national energy prices, with crude oil prices creeping upwards again toward record levels, courtesy of Bloomberg.
** Continuous coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah War from Pajamas Media. No ceasefire in sight.