Back during the California gubernatorial recall election of 2003, a debate was held between the top 8 or 9 top candidates. Among the balance of activist/kooks that had thrown their hats into the ring was Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arianna Huffington, Cruz Bustamante and Tom McClintock. We listened to the debate on KOGO 600 for about an hour and it was every much the three ring circus one would imagine given the cast.
A day after the debate, Pew or Field conducted a poll among likely California voters and found that 60%.... 60% thought that Tom McClintock, the biggest conservative in the field, was the most qualified for the position of governor. 60% of Californians can't decide from which direction the sun rises yet 60% thought this extreme right-winger was the best man for the job.
So given that electoral improbability, why didn't McClintock win? Because people like us lacked the fortitude and courage to vote for "the most qualified" person and opted instead for "electability".
Now, in hindsight and not be too harsh on ourselves, Arnie was Arnie the reform conservative and not yet Arnie the whatever.
7 years on, we have a similar situation on our hands with the California Senate Republican primary with the principals being Carly Fiorina and Chuck Devore cast roughly in the roles of Arnie and McClintock, respectively.
The recent G.O.P. establishment push for Fiorina has not set well with the grass roots. Please swing by Temple of Mut for Leslie's take on the matter.
Also, please see The Liberator Today for B-Daddy's two cents.