Even before reading the most recent poll numbers, I was becoming increasingly optimistic about my gal Carly’s chances to win the Golden State’s U.S. Senate seat. You see, I find a lot of my fellow Californians are quite enthusiastic for this accomplished woman, including a number of gay men, particularly younger gay men (in their 20s and early 30s).
Meanwhile, Barbara Boxer’s supporters acknowledge that she hasn’t been very effective, but are voting for her, well, because, well, you see, she’s the Democratic candidate and, well, gosh, darn it, they’re Democrats.
To show just how dispirited is the Democratic base, let me relate a reader’s story about conversation he overheard in the heart of West Hollywood. Of the four gay men at the table, two said they didn’t want to vote for Boxer, with one asking “What has she done for California?” This ticked off the oldest man at the table, leading one (of the two) to concede that he would “still begrudgingly vote for Boxer”. Agreeing that Boxer was a horrible candidate, the other guy didn’t indicate which way he was going to vote.
These aren’t the people who are going to go out of their way to cast their ballots on November 2.
In order to get your base to turn out, Jay Cost writes, “people have to find a reason to care. If they don’t, no amount of mobilizing is going to matter.” And California Republicans, Patrick Range McDonald acknowledges in the LA Weekly, do seem to care; they “appear more energized than Democrats to vote on Nov. 2.” He quotes Republican consultant Reed Galen who says, “The regular dynamics of California politics are out the window this year because of the economy.”
The Reuters poll which showed 28-year Washington veteran Boxer clinging to a one-point also showed that Repubilcans have the edge on enthusiasm:
Enthusiasm about voting in California is higher on the Republican side than among Democrats. Eighty-one percent of Republicans said they are certain to vote compared to just 65 percent of Democrats.
And I would daresay the gap is even larger in the Republican-leaning Central Valley. These folks are angry. And they’re going to vote.
It won’t be just in the Golden State where enthusiasm could make the difference. Like their counterpart in the Golden State, Democratic Senate candidates in Connecticut and Washington State, for example, just aren’t the type of individuals who get people fired up to vote. Yet, Republicans in state like Connecticut, Florida and Pennsylvania are, along with many of their counterparts in Nevada, are fired up and ready to vote for their party’s nominee.
Meanwhile, one of Carly’s gung-ho young gay fans is quite excited about the former HP CEO, she, he told me in an e-mail “has a great story to tell. She is a self-made woman who rose from Secretary to CEO. She knows first hand what it would take to create jobs in this state & how to balance a budget.” The more people learn Carly’s story, the more excited they’ll be about her candidacy.