The Corner

Florida, California Senate Races Now ‘Toss-Ups’

The Hill now says that two Senate races are too close to call. The California race between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.) and a field of Republican opponents has been moved to “Toss Up” from “Lean Democratic.” In the other direction, the Florida Senate race between Republicans Charlie Crist/Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek has been moved from “Lean Republican” to “Toss-Up”:

-Boxer, like many other senators, has seen her personal polling numbers decline. An independent Field Poll this month had her favorability at 38 percent, with 51 percent unfavorable. Her lesser-known potential GOP opponents have been making headway in the meantime, with former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) actually showing a one-point lead on the incumbent in that Field Poll (he’s been within the margin in a few others). But the clincher was this quote from Boxer’s campaign manager after the Field Poll: “We always thought this was going to be a challenging race, and now it’s clear this is going to be the toughest Boxer campaign yet.” MOVED FROM “LEAN DEMOCRATIC” TO “TOSS-UP.”

-The open seat in Florida, currently held by placeholder Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.), is looking more and more like a potential Democratic pickup opportunity. As the race stands now, Marco Rubio is likely to be the GOP nominee. And Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), unlike in early polls against Gov. Charlie Crist (R), is polling close to Rubio in some cases. Rubio has also begun to take his bumps over some personal financial issues, and it’s hard to see him coming out of the primary against Crist’s $7.6 million bankroll without some bruises. Meek has been raising solid money, and he’s also less well-known than Rubio at this point, which could account for his deficit in some polls. Florida is a swing state, and like other swing-state open seats right now, we’re expecting a close race that should start as a toss-up. MOVED FROM “LEAN REPUBLICAN” TO “TOSS-UP.”


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