Even as the parties planned strategy, the field of potential replacement candidates for Davis mushroomed: To date, a total of 123 Californians have taken out papers to run for governor in the recall, according to the Secretary of State's Office.Now, surely most of these can expect a handful of votes. Most won't have the money to compete in a statewide election, let alone in the expensive markets like LA and the Bay. But even if four or five attract a good audience, plus Gray Davis, a situation could arise wherein the next governor of California gets a low-20s-ish percent of the vote. This in itself is a fine argument for the party/primary system we use, thus avoiding the splintering effect. As sclerotic as the two-party system often seems, at least it can usually prevent the accession to office of a candidate that four-fifths of the electorate didn't choose.
Gray Davis easily has a core of 25% or so, if you take his approval ratings as indicative. Add in those who don't particularly like Davis, but who don't like the recall. He's very far from dead.