The left-leaning San Francisco Chronicle refused to endorse Barbara Boxer for senate today — a surprising move considering that the Chronicle endorsed Boxer in 2004. Saying that it was “extremely rare that this editorial page would offer no recommendation on any race, particularly one of this importance,” the editorial then blasted Boxer for her “partisan shots,” poor leadership, and inability over the past 18 years to give Californians anything but “uninspired representation.”
The editorial acknowledged that Boxer has a “reliably liberal voting record,” but did not consider that enough to warrant giving her an endorsement — even though the editorial also expressed concern over how Carly Fiorina’s conservative votes on abortion, gun control, and oil drilling could impact the nation if the Republicans recapture the Senate.
A USC/Los Angeles Times poll released this Saturday showed Boxer’s support among likely voters at 51 percent, eight points ahead of Fiorina. But one hopeful indication for the Fiorina campaign may be that while only 8 percent of current non-Boxer supporters say there’s a “fair” or “small chance” that they may switch their vote to Boxer, double that number of non-Fiorina supporters say they may change.
UPDATE: The Fiorina campaign issued a response to the poll, attacking it for overestimating what percentage of voters would be Democrats in November. From the statement:
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.