Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and former GOP Senate candidate, has a new rallying cry: “We need to name and to shame every Democratic candidate or group that uses this dishonest, divisive rhetoric in the service of defending terrible policies that leave women out of work, or underemployed.”
Her new Unlocking Potential Project “seeks to invest in a robust and aggressive grassroots organizing operation that will train activists, deploy field staff, and utilize the best technologies to identify, persuade and turnout voters in 2014.”
The game plan is for a hands-on approach: “Having studied some of the most aggressive field operations of recent campaigns, we have concluded that a robust investment in a field program that prizes a genuine dialog with voters over a contact based approach will yield dividends for our candidates. Personal interactions, face-to-face, person-to-person interactions are one of the most effective ways to grow a party and turnout the vote — and we don’t do enough of it.” Some may scoff at a losing Senate candidate launching a new voter outreach program, but Fiorina can brag she achieved something not many Republicans have done — persuade 4.2 million people to vote for her in 2010. Of course, 10 million Californians voted in the Senate race that year.
Meanwhile, the New York Daily News noticed that Hillary Clinton’s new book is almost indistinguishable in its design from Fiorina’s book from a few years ago:
Okay, okay, Carly Fiorina is joining the team at the National Republican Senatorial Committee . . .
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today announced that businesswoman and civic leader Carly Fiorina will join the organization as a Vice Chair for the 2012 election cycle.
Serving alongside Cornyn and NRSC Vice Chairman U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Fiorina will amplify Senate Republicans’ focus on healing America’s troubled economy, and assist with the NRSC’s crucial fundraising efforts in support of a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.
“I’m pleased to welcome my friend Carly Fiorina to the NRSC team, where her many business and civic achievements will make her an invaluable leader and fundraiser during this critical election cycle,” Senator Cornyn said today. “I look forward to working with Carly to elect strong Republican Senators who will finally put a stop to President Obama’s failed tax-and-spend agenda, and instead promote the economic growth and job creation Americans so badly need.”
Former Chairman and CEO of HP and one of the most recognized business leaders in the world, Carly Fiorina has consistently championed competitiveness, innovation, job creation and economic growth. She has been politically active, serving as Republican Victory Chair supporting John McCain’s presidential run, and most recently challenging four-term California Senator Barbara Boxer in her own first-time political candidacy.
“The Senate sets the legislative agenda for the nation. I am proud to work alongside Chairman Cornyn, Vice Chairman Hatch and all Republican Senators to restore a Republican majority in 2012,” said Fiorina. “Republicans in the Senate will provide job creators the opportunities and environment they need to grow our economy, decentralize power out of Washington, and restore fiscal accountability.”
. . . but the big question is, will she bring Demonsheep with her?
A Long Island reader writes in, “We really need some up-front and easy-to-follow links for contributing to the campaigns of folks like Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell, etc., etc. You’d think these links would be front and center, but generally it’s catch-as-catch-can.”
I think Marco Rubio in Florida is doing all right, and Linda McMahon in Connecticut can obviously self-fund, but there are the links, just in case. I feel similarly confident about Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and in fact Mark Kirk in Illinois. (All of those campaigns will now write in saying “Hey, we can always use more donations, pal!”)
The race for the US Senate in California is an actual dead heat, with both Fiorina and Boxer standing right at forty-four percent (44%) of the vote. Six percent (6%) of voters are voting for one of the other candidates, and 5% are undecided . . .
It is also important to note that Boxer’s negatives are fully institutionalized to the point where she has never once broken the 45% level in terms of her ballot strength, and there are a “hard” fifty-three percent (53%) of voters who believe it is time for a new person.
The final eleven days of the campaign are entirely about weight of message. The trajectory of the last two weeks of tracking clearly shows that the Fiorina campaign has been pitch perfect in terms of message, and have a message arc that can and will close the deal. The Boxer campaign has also shown that they are now past the end of their message arc and do not have a playbook for what to do thematically in the last eleven days. They have already tried to prosecute the messages they believe would render Fiorina unelectable — worst CEO, right-wing extremist, outsourcing, etc — and none of them have performed as they needed them to. Boxer’s only option at this point is pure weight of message, particularly in the Los Angeles and San Francisco DMA’s, to try and dominate the focus of the ballot question among the remaining undecided voters on Fiorina enough that they will hesitate and “scatter” to one of the minor party candidates.
At the point in time when the Fiorina campaign is able to generate the weight of message, in the form of gross ratings points, in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets, to be able to bring focus back onto Boxer, the campaign will be able toconvert the remaining Independents and undecided voters that it needs to capture a plurality on election day.
When Republicans nominated two high-profile former CEOs who are women for statewide offices in California, I figured the fates of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were tied at the hip. Not only were their profiles and themes similar — fiscal conservatives with business sense, taking on calcified embodiments of the state’s exhausted liberal establishment — but it was hard to imagine the state’s voters feeling dramatically different about what they wanted in a governor and in a senator.
Now I’m not so sure. Whitman has taken a tumble in the polls, no doubt. (If her slide really does stem from the housekeeper brouhaha, then perhaps it’s time to give up on that place. I understand Lex Luthor has a plan to bring dramatic change to California’s troubled landscape.) And even in this most expensive of states, to spend more than $140 million and to trail boggles the mind.
Fiorina seems to be polling a little better, and has the advantage of running against a true incumbent. I think Whitman is far and away a better choice for Californians, and keep waiting for the Democrats to admit that the Jerry Brown campaign has been a big joke. But if the state really is going to send the old retread to Sacramento, maybe they’ll be wary of embracing both icons of the liberal approach to governance that has left their state in such a mess.
“So think about it. As we discussed, the Democrats had exactly two pieces of good news in September. First, there were some polls putting Barbara Boxer ahead by 6, 7 or 8 (L.A. Times/USC, PPIC, CNN/Time). Second, there was a poll in Kentucky showing Rand Paul only ahead by 2.
“First, Rasmussen puts Paul up by 11; if he’s had a slide, it’s negligible. Now SurveyUSA has Boxer ahead by 3 and Rasmussen has her ahead by 4. Boxer’s back in the margin of error and even when she got some separation, we had some doubts about the samples.
“Boxer’s numbers never really moved from the mid-to-high 40s. She just bombarded Fiorina.”
Now Fiorina’s up on the air statewide again, with heavy NRSC backing.
Obi Wan continues, “The day after Politico, the Washington Post and New York Times do their third or fourth round of ’the Democrats are surging back,’ out come the Gallup numbers. Bad timing, fellas . . . But, wait, Rasmussen had the GOP lead down to three. Was he picking up something or was it just Sunday-night polling on a three-day average? (Michael Barone, who is maybe the smartest political guy in the history of smart political guys, has parsed the Gallup and Rasmussen disparity.)
“So, oscillations happen. Let us pay attention though, over the next week. Is there going to be some pullback in the GOP numbers? Doesn’t it have to happen at some point?
“Another question: is the Dem strategy of ‘going negative’ in so many states actually working? Or has it come way too early and is now dissipating? We saw that in the big buys against Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Scott Brown. Changed the numbers but only temporarily.
“Also, Republicans need to do a couple of things. More on that later.
“And is Dick Morris right? Is the real danger GOP ‘under-confidence’? Just in case he’s right, will somebody please try some ads against Chuck Schumer? His numbers are far from impressive and the guy running against him is credible. Image a Schumer-free Senate.”
(I can hear readers murmuring . . . “Wait a minute. I thought Obi-Wan might be Dick Morris or Michael Barone.”)
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer’s bid for reelection in California against Republican challenger Carly Fiorina is once again a toss-up. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Boxer picking up 49 percent of the vote, her highest level of support since mid-July. Fiorina earns 45 percent support. Two percent prefer some other candidate, and five percent are undecided.
The NRSC’s $2 million coordinated ad buy with the Fiorina campaign begins with this one:
The NRSC chuckles, “this represents roughly $2 million more dollars than national Democrats have put behind their candidates in Ohio, New Hampshire, Indiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Iowa, and Florida — all races that Democrats were all too happy to talk about just a few months ago.”
Martin Wilson, campaign manager of Carly Fiorina’s campaign for Senate in California, isn’t too worried about the Los Angeles Times poll.
The just-released poll by the Los Angeles Times is neither an accurate nor a reliable reflection of voter interest or likely participation in the upcoming election. Simply put, the Times poll overestimates Democratic voter participation by a wide margin, hence it produced skewed results that are inconsistent with other public and private polling in this race, including the respected Field Poll released on Friday. Specifically, the poll’s sample indicates that self-identified Democrats will hold a 16.75 percent advantage over Republicans, which is at least double what other credible polls indicate. In addition to understating the Republican vote, its results are based on 9 percent participation of independent voters when, again, other pollsters estimate that at least 20 percent of the electorate will be comprised of swing voters.
With such an errant sampling methodology, we are amazed that Boxer’s lead over Carly is not in the double digits as opposed to the eight-point advantage they are giving the incumbent. At this stage and in light of the dynamics of the race during the time this survey was in the field, that is a gap that can, and will, be bridged in the coming weeks.
For 10 days, while this survey was being conducted, Barbara Boxer spent several million dollars on unanswered advertising mischaracterizing both her own record and Carly’s record. It is notable that, despite this, Barbara Boxer was unable to increase her standing with voters in the Field Poll. We are now answering back with the launch of our advertising campaign just 72 hours ago, after both the Times and Field polls had been completed. As this campaign moves forward and as voters become aware of the facts about Barbara Boxer, the hyper-partisan career politician, the dynamics in this race will change quickly.
Newspaper endorsements generally don’t move many votes – ask Creigh Deeds how endless love letters from the Washington Post helped him in last year’s governor’s race – and the polls have looked a little better for Barbara Boxer lately. But the San Francisco Chronicle editors’ refusal to endorse Boxer as one might expect has to be a big morale hit for them. In a way, the non-endorsement reinforces the point I tried to make with last week’s series, that entirely separate from her very liberal voting record, there are a lot of reasons to want to see Boxer out of the Senate: her purchasing of endorsements, the five-figure expenses tied to her jaunts to do “official business” at beach resorts, her 143 bounced checks for more than $40,000 in three years, her massive payments to her family from campaign funds, and her amazing capacity to remember things that didn’t happen.
A Republican watching this race closely flagged the editorial and told me, “this has got to be devastating news for Team Boxer… This is the most liberal paper in the state, pretty much.” I’m not sure it’s devastating, but you have to figure a San Francisco paper’s endorsement of a Democrat was one of those factors the Boxer campaign took for granted, on par with the continued presence of gravity.
It is clear that the editors disagree with Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina on policy; if elected, she wouldn’t vote the way the Chronicle leaders would prefer. Even though Boxer would, they can’t give her a thumbs-up: “he incumbent, Democrat Barbara Boxer, has failed to distinguish herself during her 18 years in office. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation… For some Californians, Boxer’s reliably liberal voting record may be reason enough to give her another six years in office. But we believe Californians deserve more than a usually correct vote on issues they care about. They deserve a senator who is accessible, effective and willing and able to reach across party lines to achieve progress on the great issues of our times. Boxer falls short on those counts.”
There’s even something of an unintended compliment to Fiorina: “In past elections, Boxer has had the good fortune of having Republican opponents who were inept, underfunded, on the fringe right – or combinations thereof. Her opponent this time, Fiorina, is proving to be articulate, well-funded and formidable.
Today, we examine the possibility that Boxer is . . . not really in touch with what is going on around her.
There was a revealing moment last month when Barbara Boxer, meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, offered a vivid, compelling anecdote . . . that simply didn’t happen.
“I asked [Condoleezza Rice] how many people had died and she did not know the answer to that question. And since we had lost a lot of Californians, I was concerned. And I said, you and I don’t have, we haven’t paid a person price, I said, you and I, I said, myself, my grandkids are too young, my husband too old, and as far as I know you don’t have anybody in the war.”
There was some embarrassment for Boxer when the paper went to the C-SPAN footage and found that Boxer never asked Rice how many U.S. troops had died in Iraq when she began her “personal price” remarks and in fact, never asked Rice any question.
Every long-term officeholder risks ending up in a bubble, constantly surrounded by sycophants and favor-seekers, applauding crowds and friendly media. They’re shielded from the usual frustrations and conflicts of life, and begin to presume everyone around them agrees with them. They may fall out of touch with their constituents, losing the ability to relate, to understand, to empathize or even to grasp normal decorum and behavior. What is fascinating is that Boxer does this so frequently, and so obviously, that even her allies acknowledge she’s out of touch.
There was obviously her infamous request to Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh to call her “Senator” instead of “ma’am,” the title consistent with military protocol. Then, when the chair of the National Black Chamber of Commerce testified against her energy policy, she clumsily tried to refute him by citing position papers from the NAACP and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, with spectacularly bad results.
Deborah White, a delegate to the California Democratic party convention, lamented the transformation of a senator she has supported in the past:
As both a California Democratic Party delegate and a Californian who voted for Boxer in her three previous Senate races, I found her plea to be odd, her convention speech to be stale and out-of-touch, and her total lack of accessibility to be in vivid contrast with all other politicians (including Nancy Pelosi) in attendance at the convention. Therein lies the root of Sen. Boxer’s lukewarm support in 2010 from Democrats in blue-state California.
. . . Sen. Boxer seemed disconnected from the painful issues impacting voters in 2010 in her financially ailing home-state. And she seemed genuinely puzzled as to why her political support has faded. I believe that Barbara Boxer spends too much of her time in and on the insular world of Washington D.C., mired in national policy power-plays and bogged down in Senate intrigues, protocols, and social circles. And not nearly enough time caring and personally connecting with voters back home . . .
Sen. Boxer’s podium plea for California Democrats to “get excited” about her campaign was odd: the three-time senator seems to forget that successful politicians inspire excitement and campaign energy, as Barack Obama did in 2008. Excitement and energy among voters are not entitlements . . . Demanding excitement doesn’t work.
Even those who agree with her stances acknowledge she is not an effective leader. Frank O’Donnell, president of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch, said “it would be a good thing in a lot of respects” if Democrat Tom Carper took over the Environment and Public Works Committee, in part because Boxer is seen as highly partisan. “I think it is one of the little dark secrets that’s never discussed is that people all think Barbara Boxer is fantastic when it comes to content but she’s lacking when it comes to leadership and style.”
It may be tough to lead when you have a habit of making assertions that don’t line up with . . . well, all known facts and the perspectives of roughly everyone else on the planet.
She’s argued that “I’m going to put in the record . . . a host of quotes from our national security experts who tell us that carbon pollution leading to climate change will be over the next 20 years the leading cause of conflict, putting our troops in harm’s way.” More than religious and ideological extremism? More than ethnic conflict? More than the profits and power from drug cartels or people smuggling? More than the age-old phenomenon of strong nations attempting to subjugate weak ones, like Russia’s annexation of Georgian territories?
The polls for California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina look a little tough lately. But Boxer’s been running television ads statewide since September 13. Her ads were running throughout the polling period of the recent Field Poll, and Boxer’s support remains unchanged at 47 percent since their July survey, and her disapproval rating remains at 47 percent.
Fiorina just started on September 23, with this simple message:
One big infusion of ads for Fiorina, reminding Californians of just how little 18 years of Barbara Boxer has done for them and how much she has done to them, and this race is over.
Florida: Marco Rubio (R) leads Gov. Charlie Crist (I) in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 27%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 21%. Alex Sink (D) is ahead of Rick Scott (R) in the race for governor, 49% to 41%.
Nevada: Sharron Angle (R) edges Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 44%.
Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey (R) leads Rep. Joe Sestak (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 41%.
Ohio: Rob Portman (R) leads Lee Fisher (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 41%. John Kasich (R) is ahead of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in the race for governor, 48% to 43%.
California: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) edges Carly Fiorina (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 44%. Meg Whitman (R) is ahead of Jerry Brown (D) in the race for governor, 49% to 43%.
Most of these results are in line with other polls, but I suspect Sharron Angle’s supporters will be cheered at a non-Rasmussen poll* showing her ahead.
UPDATE: Eh, it’s sort of not Rasmussen: “Pulse Opinion Research licenses methodology developed by veteran pollster Scott Rasmussen, providing a survey platform for a host of clients, from individuals to special-interest groups. In fact, we provide the field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys. We have also collected data for presidential campaigns and top-tier political professionals from across the political spectrum. Over the period from 2003 to 2009, Pulse generated 18% of its revenue from Republican sources, 20% from Democrats and 61% from sources not affiliated with either major party.”
CNN has some new poll numbers out in some key Senate races; earlier in the day, they touted them as being “surprising.”
They’re surprising because they’re different from other polls in these races. And they’re different, I suspect, because much of the other polling is among likely voters, while the guys at CNN still haven’t applied a likely-voter screen.
In Florida, they find Rubio 36 percent, Crist 34 percent, Meek 24 percent. I’m sure the Rubio folks will warmly greet any poll that has them in the lead, but again, I can’t help but suspect that a likely-voter screen would weed out a lot of unmotivated Democrats and independents.
Finally, in California, Barbara Boxer leads Carly Fiorina, 48 percent to 44 percent. But there are some quite odd numbers in the internals. Boxer is winning men, 47 percent to 46 percent. Boxer is winning independents, 45 percent to 40 percent. Perhaps most strangely, 18 percent of self-identified conservatives are backing Boxer; 77 percent back Fiorina. Meanwhile, 88 percent of liberals back Boxer, only 5 percent back Fiorina.
UPDATE: For contrast, Survey USA’s most recent California poll had conservatives backing Fiorina 87 percent to 8 percent.
“Today, Barbara Boxer treats business much like the Huns treated the cities of Europe as targets of plunder and pillage,” said Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. ”We need a leader in Washington, D.C., who’s going to stand up for the businesses of Californians. And it’s not just the businesses you’re standing up for; it’s the employees you’re standing up for.”
The Huns, thought to be a confederation of tribes from Europe and central Asia, invaded Europe during the fourth and fifth centuries. Their most feared ruler was Attila the Hun, who ruled during the fifth century and has been nicknamed the “Scourge of God.”
Fiorina took on the Demonsheep, but defeating the Scourge of God is a much bigger task.
This morning, Rasmussen has Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer leading Carly Fiorina by 5 in California’s Senate race and the GOP’s John Kasich leading incumbent Ted Strickland by 3 in Ohio’s governor’s race. They’re pretty much in line with what we’ve seen in other recent polls.
Likely voters are closely divided between Democrat Jerry Brown (37%) and Republican Meg Whitman (34%), with 23 percent undecided. Of those saying that a candidate’s environmental positions are very important in determining their vote, 50 percent would vote for Brown and 16 percent would vote for Whitman. Among those who say a candidate’s environmental positions are somewhat important, Whitman is favored (42% to 33%). Preferences follow party lines, with independents split (30% Brown, 28% Whitman, 30% undecided). (The survey questionnaire lists results for all six candidates listed on the November ballot.)
Most likely voters (79%) also view the U.S. Senate candidates’ positions on the environment as at least somewhat important. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters support Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, 34 percent support Republican Carly Fiorina, and 22 percent are undecided. Those who view candidates’ positions on the environment as very important are three times as likely to support Boxer (54%) as Fiorina (18%). Among those who say candidates’ views on the environment are somewhat important, support is evenly divided (37% to 37%). Each candidate has the support of her party’s likely voters. Among independents, 35 percent support Boxer, 29 percent support Fiorina, and 25 percent are undecided.
Both of these races are winnable for the GOP, and I’m trying to think of the last time I saw a three-term Senate incumbent getting 39 percent. (Perhaps Harry Reid on one of his bad days.) But clearly, both Whitman and Fiorina have a lot of work ahead.
Most people agree that [California Sen. Barbara] Boxer, despite her fundraising prowess and deep network of donors, will require an infusion of DSCC cash. Her rival, Republican Carly Fiorina, is another partial self-funder, but she won’t have the same level of cash to throw around as her ticketmate, gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. Still, the polls suggest the race is tight, and a long-serving incumbent is at risk. “They don’t want to lose Boxer, and they don’t want to lose California,” Sheinkopf said, noting how expensive it is to win back a lost seat in the Golden State because its media costs are so prohibitive.
Boxer has $11 million on hand, and has an 11-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over Fiorina. (Keep in mind, Fiorina can at least partially self-finance.) By comparison, in Ohio, Democrat Lee Fisher is faces a 9-to-1 disadvantage to Republican Rob Portman, and in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey has $4.5 million to Joe Sestak’s $2 million on hand. In other words, there are other Democrats who will really, really need DSCC funds this cycle; you have to wonder how they’ll feel about the national committee pumping funds to a candidate sitting on so much cash.