A Field Poll released today shows Democratic senator Barbara Boxer six points ahead of Republican candidate Carly Fiorina in the California senate race. That’s bad news for Fiorina, who trailed Boxer by only three points in the July Field Poll.
But with 12 percent of voters selecting undecided or other when asked, there’s still room for Fiorina to catch up. Making herself better known might be a start: 28 percent of voters still don’t know whether they have a favorable or unfavorable perspective of her.
Another challenge Fiorina faces is how to deal with the more left-leaning voters that are expected to turn out for the election to vote for the marijuana legalization initiative. From Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen:
A big question to contemplate in California is whether the marijuana initiative is helping to stifle the enthusiasm gap Democrats are dealing with in most other states, particularly when it comes to intended turnout from young voters. We’re seeing a much higher level of interest in this election from voters under 45 in California than in most places and those folks are highly favorable toward Proposition 19, planning to vote for it by a 54/34 margin.
Those same young voters are fueling much of the lead for Jerry Brown in the Governor’s race and Barbara Boxer in the Senate- if Brown and Boxer win they may have the marijuana initiative to thank for driving turnout from folks who would otherwise have been drop off voters in a midterm.
UPDATE: Fiorina’s press secretary Andrea Saul has a more optimistic take on the poll’s results. Her statement:
This poll underscores just how vulnerable Barbara Boxer is after nearly three decades in Washington during which she has supported higher taxes, championed a massive expansion of government and been an ineffective and hyper-partisan politician. After spending millions of dollars on baseless, deceptive and unanswered attack ads against Carly, Boxer failed to gain any support and only temporarily moved 3 percent of the vote to undecided.
Over the course of the next 39 days, voters will be reminded of the lowlights of Barbara Boxer’s 28 years in Washington where she has failed the people of this state and will also learn more about Carly Fiorina, who will bring to the U.S. Senate her background in business and her commitment to addressing our country’s challenges with bipartisan, common-sense solutions.