Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has bowed out of the gubernatorial election. Smart man. Why would he want the worst job in government? I think this essentially destroys Gavin Newsom’s chances, because he’s not well known in Southern California, and, like Villaraigosa, has a few of his own issues.
I think this makes it a safe bet that Brown wins the primary and the general. The state GOP will be too likely to put forward a too-far-to-the-right candidate because they feel burned by Schwarzenegger. The result will be someone not palatable to most Californians.
Politically, I think this is actually one of the least significant aspects of the 2010 election. If, and only if, there are 2/3 majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, and if, and only if, significant Constitutional reform is undertaken will this situation be timely remedied or recurrences prevented.
Chances are the real tumult will happen in the 2012 elections when the Legislative districts will be redrawn using a new process.