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The Skinny

Sifting through the rubble of Election Day, we’ve gone hunting for the winners and losers. Some of us, who shall remain nameless, were all set to run stories on the demise of Arnold Schwarzenegger. With the compacts headed for what many thought was a loss, and late word of Mitt Romney’s surge in the state after the governor had endorsed John McCain — not to mention bad poll numbers on the term limits measure backed by the governor — we were all ready to go with our Fall of Schwarzenegger stories. That obituary proved a bit premature, with McCain winning a wide victory in the state and the governor’s compacts winning passage. The guv’s political team now downplays his support of Proposition 93, but clearly the onus for that one was much more on Fabian Núñez than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Steve Poizner gets a boost with the GOP faithful for taking down Prop. 93, but so does Bill Jones, who was a big backer of McCain dating back to 2000. Could Jones, like McCain, be primed for another crack at the job he ran for and lost in 2002? Having a President McCain sure would help. And it turns out an endorsement from Maria Shriver isn’t worth all that much after all. But that’s OK, a backing from Uncle Ted or Cousin Caroline didn’t help Barack Obama out much in Massachusetts either. … Speaking of Team Schwarzenegger, Adam Mendelsohn has officially left the governor’s office and has joined his old pal Steve Schmidt in the California office of Mercury PR. But Mendelsohn will have to hold down the fort for a while, as Schmidt continues to serve as senior strategist to McCain.

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