The Campaign Spot

A GOP Surge in California, With a Caveat

Team Fiorina is excited about the first poll showing their gal ahead, 47 percent to 45 percent, over Sen. Barbara Boxer in California. But it isn’t that surprising; there have been enough polls showing a close race — back in March, the Field Poll and PPP showed Boxer ahead by a single point — that a Fiorina lead was likely to appear in one eventually.

A bit more surprising is Meg Whitman suddenly jumping to a 7-percentage-point lead; she had been ahead for a stretch in March and Jerry Brown had seemed to close the gap and pull ahead in recent weeks.

I’d make one note of caution about this poll: Is Obama really at 41 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable and 14 percent neutral in California? Note that his favorable rating — distinct from his job approval — has been much higher in most polls in this state. Then again, California’s had unemployment above 12 percent since December; perhaps the patience of Golden State voters is running out.

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