LOS ANGELES – He's still California's governor and Gray Davis (search) doesn't want anyone to forget it.
"I'm going to work every day on problems people care about and will stay in this office as long as the people will allow me," Davis said Monday.
Fighting for his job much the way Bill Clinton did during his presidential impeachment saga, Davis is taking cues from the former president, and in fact, has retained Clinton as a private adviser. But unlike Clinton, Davis cannot bank on unified Democratic support. Signs of the defections are increasingly visible across the state.
Davis strategists know the governor is a lightning rod and highlighting his leadership is risky business. But they've decided that it beats hiding and may be the only way to keep Democrats on the reservation.
"Democrats are united from Dianne Feinstein (search) and Barbara Boxer (search), the nine presidential Democratic candidates, the entire congressional delegation and legislative delegations. We're all united on one point — the recall is a bad idea," Davis said.
While candidates have been filing papers and building campaign teams, Davis has been signing legislation — four bills since Monday — and looking like he's in charge. On Tuesday, he asked the federal government to lift a rule requiring ethanol in state gasoline.
"We don't want to use ethanol if it makes our air dirtier and makes the cost of gasoline more expensive," he said.
Despite the new zeal Davis is demonstrating for the job, Democratic unity is cracking. Internal Democratic polls show Davis' approval rating is below 20 percent. Fox News has also learned that major party donors are afraid that Davis is a goner and are refusing to make big donations until the tide turns in his favor.
Democratic state lawmakers also say they want to repeal the threefold increase in the car tax carried out on Davis' watch — a move endorsed by Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (search), who is running on the replacement ballot and gaining strength among core Democratic constituencies.
The anti-Davis tide appears very high. The latest statewide poll shows 66 percent of registered voters support recalling Davis. The same poll shows actor Arnold Schwarzenegger leads 51 to 17 percent over Bustamante with all other candidates farther behind.
Other Republicans, like state Sen. Tom McClintock (search), say they are struggling to be heard.
"Arnold's getting a lot of attention right now and that's a little frustrating but there's a lot he could teach me about making movies. But there is a great deal I could teach him about the fiscal reforms that are desperately needed to set this state's affairs in order," McClintock said.
Fox News' Major Garrett contributed to this report.