California Poll Data…

…are here. This is the Knight-Ridder poll that was done between Wednesday and Saturday, spanning the time when various allegations were made against Arnold Schwarzenegger. The poll does show declining support for the recall of Friday and Saturday, after the Democrats broke the “groper” story. But, as Dan Weintraub points out, the poll is a bit anomalous in that Friday’s sample contained an unusually large percentage of Democrats.
The impact of the “scandal” will be muted somewhat by the fact that so many absentee ballots have already been cast–more than two million. In the Knight-Ridder poll, 24% say they have already voted.
For some reason, this poll didn’t include a question directly pitting the recall candidates against one another. The closest proxy is a question that asks whether respondents would vote for the recall if polls showed Schwarzenegger was likely to win. By a 52% to 38% margin, people say they would vote for the recall in that situation. (Conversely, if Bustamante looked like the victor, respondents say they would vote against the recall by 45% to 37%,) Interestingly, there is little difference in how this question was answered on Saturday as compared to Wednesday and Thursday.