The fact that [Barbara] Boxer’s support has been stuck in the mid-40s for several surveys no matter which Republican she is matched against continues to suggest that the race for now is about her rather than about those who are running against her.
Now, get this, while the state’s junior Senate polls no better than 47% against the three Republicans vying for the chance to replace her, leading my gal Carly and her more serious rival Tom Campbell by four points (46-42) and (45-41) respectively, she runs more than 10 points behind President Obama’s approval rate in the Golden State. Here, despite a sour economy with an unemployment rate topping 12%, one of the highest in the nation, the President’s approval stands at 58%, one of the highest in the nation.
Should that fall, as is likely if the economy here doesn’t pick up steam, Mrs. Boxer will assuredly go down with him. And remember this, two weeks before voters in Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to the United States Senate, Rasmussen had him down by nine. He won by five. That’s a fourteen-point shift.
With the Republican base enthused and Americans in an anti-incumbent mood, we could expect a similar turnaround out here. The more Republicans can focus on Mrs. Boxer’s record, reminding Californians of her support for high taxes and job-killing and land-parching regulation, the more they’ll want new representation. Indeed, they’re already unhappy with the incumbent. Without any negative ads being run against her (and with a state media largely oblivious to her blunders and partisanship), voters don’t much cotton to the 28-year Washington veteran: “Twenty-six percent (26%) of California voters share a very favorable opinion of Boxer, but 33% view the senator very unfavorably.”
And they don’t much like the kind of policies she’s been pushing for nearly three decades: “Just 19% say increased spending is the better option [compared to cutting taxes].” The more you look at the numbers, the more you realize that the only way Mrs. Boxer can gain any traction is by attacking her opponents, a tactic she has used to her benefit in 1992 and 1998.
Carly says she’s ready, having said, “After Chemotherapy, Barbara Boxer Is Not Very Scary.” Let’s hope she means that and she’s prepared for more than just the kitchen sink. Barbara Boxer excels in attack politics, having recently graduated to the political gutter, but she’ll return to the sewer if that’s what it takes to defeat a Republican.