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Gubernatorial and Senate poll roundup

There has been a flurry of poll results released recently in the two big races on California’s ballot this November, and although we’ve been rolling ‘em out as they come, perhaps it would be useful to have them all together in one place, so everyone can get an idea of which way the wind is blowing (with the caveat, of course, that it’s still a loooong way to Election Day).

In the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican nominee Carly Fiorina:

  • CNN/Time, Sept. 24-28, 786 likely voters: Boxer 52%, Fiorina 43%
  • PPIC, Sept. 19-26, 1,104 likely voters: Boxer 42%, Fiorina 35%
  • SurveyUSA, Sept. 19-21, 610 likely voters: Boxer 49%, Fiorina 43%
  • Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 20, 750 likely voters: Boxer 47%, Fiorina 43%
  • LA Times/USC, Sept. 15-22, 887 likely voters: Boxer 51%, Fiorina 43%
  • Field, Sept. 14-21, 599 likely voters: Boxer 47%, Fiorina 41%
  • Public Policy Polling, Sept. 14-16, 630 likely voters: Boxer 50%, Fiorina 42%
  • In the gubernatorial race between Democratic nominee Jerry Brown and Republican nominee Meg Whitman:

  • CNN/Time, Sept. 24-28, 786 likely voters: Brown 52%, Whitman 43%
  • PPIC, Sept. 19-26, 1,104 likely voters: Whitman 38%, Brown 37%
  • SurveyUSA, Sept. 19-21, 610 likely voters: Brown 46%, Whitman 43%
  • Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 20, 750 likely voters: Brown 47%, Whitman 46%
  • LA Times/USC, Sept. 15-22, 887 likely voters: Brown 49%, Whitman 44%
  • Field, Sept. 14-21, 599 likely voters: Brown 41%, Whitman 41%
  • Public Policy Polling, Sept. 14-16, 630 likely voters: Brown 47%, Whitman 42%
  • Posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, Jerry Brown, Meg Whitman, polls, U.S. Senate | 1 Comment »

    U.S. Chamber launches new ad against Boxer

    On the eve of the second debate between U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today launched a “28 Years of Barbara Boxer” television ad in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California to highlight the incumbent’s “tax-and-spend voting record, which has helped drive away California jobs,” according to the chamber’s news release.

    “America is going broke because Barbara Boxer has voted to raise taxes and add trillions to the national debt during her nearly three decades in Washington,” said Bill Miller, the chamber’s national political director. “Her burdensome policies are making California businesses less competitive, costing the state jobs.”

    “If you want to know why California can’t create or keep new jobs, the answer lies at the doorstep of career politicians like Barbara Boxer,” he said. “Our ad reminds Californians of Boxer’s anti-jobs record and urges the Senator to stop supporting ballooning budget deficits.”

    The union-backed U.S. Chamber Watch issued a statement today saying that, “As usual, it turns out the ad is just an empty political attack reel at the behest of anonymous corporate interests and the shadow Republican Party. The Chamber’s attacks on Boxer simply reflect its own agenda.”

    U.S. Chamber Watch’s release said the chamber supported policies that led to the financial crisis, such as softening derivatives regulation; supports extension of all of the Bush tax cuts, which would add to the federal deficit; fought health care reform; and opposed both a bill to crack down on off-shoring of U.S. jobs as well as the “Buy American” provisions of the 2010 jobs bill.

    The chamber had launched other ads attacking Boxer earlier this month, airing in Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield and San Diego.

    Meanwhile, the “Vota Tus Valores” (“Vote Your Values”) 10-day statewide bus tour of Latino community leaders supporting Fiorina will be in the East Bay even as the debate occurs tomorrow:

  • Noon – Concord Community Park
  • 1:30 PM – Main St & Navy Way in Alameda
  • 3:15 PM – Hillview Park in San Jose
  • 4:45 PM – Central Park in San Mateo
  • A Field Poll released Friday found Boxer leads Fiorina among Latino likely voters, 48 percent to 29 percent, with 23 percent undecided; that’s a wider margin than Boxer’s lead among all likely voters, which was 47 percent to 41 percent with 12 percent undecided.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | No Comments »

    Boxer and Fiorina on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

    The U.S. Senate couldn’t find the 60 votes it needed today to open debate on a defense authorization bill that includes an amendment to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gay and lesbian servicemembers, the Washington Post reports.

    The vote on the cloture motion was 56-43. No Republican senator voted for cloture; Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor crossed the aisle to vote with the GOP against cloture, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did so as well as a parliamentary tactic so he can bring a cloture motion back to the floor later. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, didn’t vote.

    Republicans faulted Reid for blocking other amendments to the defense authorization bill.

    U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said today on the Senate floor that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is hurting our military and costing our nation.

    Barbara Boxer“Fourteen thousand servicemen and women have been discharged from the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It has cost taxpayers about $290 million at least, maybe up to half a billion dollars to replace soldiers who were discharged under this policy,” she said. “And I know many Americans have seen in their living rooms, coming on the TV, men and women who are our neighbors’ kids and our neighbors who have been kicked out of the military even though they were stellar – stellar – servicemen and women.”

    Most of our military allies allow gays and lesbians to serve in their military without discrimination, Boxer said.

    “And so for us to stand with Iran, for us to stand with Cuba, for us to stand with North Korea, Pakistan and Turkey over Australia, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Germany, etc., it just doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “And the point is, because we’re part of this coalition of 22 other nations (with troops in Afghanistan), our fighting men and women are already fighting side-by-side with those who may well be gays and lesbians.”

    Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina has said she supports repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell if military leaders say that’s the right thing to do; at a meeting with veterans in Oakland in February, she said it seems a shame that patriots can’t serve without lying about who they are, especially in time of war.

    Fiorina 6-17-10 in Sacramento (AP Photo)“As Carly has stated on the campaign trail, she very much supports the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and looks forward to the pending review of the policy by the military’s top officials, but she thinks it is extremely disappointing that career politician Barbara Boxer and her fellow Democrats keep playing election year politics with such important military issues,” Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul said this afternoon. “Instead of maneuvering to try and save the only job she cares about – her own – Barbara Boxer should actually work to represent the people of California in a forthright way, which is exactly why Carly Fiorina wants to go to Washington and stop the politics of old.”

    Lots of outrage from gay-rights advocates, after the jump…
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | 3 Comments »

    Unions target Fiorina, Whitman fundraisers

    Watch for snarled streets tonight in Piedmont and tomorrow in Burlingame as labor unions and others protest fundraising events for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina and Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, respectively.

    The Fiorina event from 5 to 7 p.m. today on Bellevue Avenue in Piedmont, starting at $500 a head, will feature former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice also will headline Whitman’s 6 p.m. Tuesday, $1,000-and-up event at the Hyatt Regency on Burlingame’s Bayshore Boulevard, along with Grammy-winning songrwriter, producer and singer David Foster.

    “Holding fundraisers with top officials of the Bush administration—whose unfair economic policies and short-sighted war in Iraq created a devastating crisis for American families–symbolizes exactly what is at stake in this election,” Malinda Markowitz, a co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, said in a news release. “Whitman and Fiorina are running on programs that would return us to the failed policies of the past. We need elected leaders who carry the values of nurses, caring, compassion, and community, not the corporate greed and failure so symbolized by the Bush administration and the CEO records of Whitman and Fiorina. Whitman and Fiorina are just too extreme for California voters, as they are demonstrating yet again.”

    But the Republicans’ campaigns say it’s not the candidates who are too extreme.

    “For 28 years in Washington, DC, Barbara Boxer has been first in line to promote the extreme and destructive agenda set by her special interest backers, so it comes as no surprise that these very same allies would work together to manufacture the illusion of support for her in an election year,” Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “The last thing they want in Washington is a Senator like Carly Fiorina who, as a political outsider with real work experience, is beholden to no one and will make decisions based on what will get California’s economy moving again and create jobs for the more than 2.2 million Californians out of work today.”

    And Whitman spokesman Darrel Ng said Democratic gubernatorial nominee “Jerry Brown is bought and paid for by the unions. The events are ploys coordinated by a group of radical union bosses who have consistently misrepresented the views of hardworking nurses throughout the state. Californians deserve to know what Jerry Brown will give them in return for their generous financial support. Finally, how is this for union dues well spent? CNA President Rose DeMoro, who has never worked as a nurse a day in her life, is paid $300,000, five times more than the median salary of an American nurse.”

    Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman | 1 Comment »

    EMILY’s List ready to ante up for Boxer

    The largest national advocacy and fundraising organization for pro-choice women seeking political office is ready to put ads on the air and boots on the ground for embattled U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, its president said this afternoon.

    Stephanie SchriockEMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said the “California Women Vote!” independent expenditure program is going to take dead aim at Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina.

    “We’re still putting together resources but we intend to use direct mail, television advertising and online advertising,” she said, in order to “really outline what Carly Fiorina is about and the positions she’s taking. It’s important to make people know that Nov. 2 is a choice between someone who has been a champion for the state and another person who has tied herself to Sarah Palin.”

    EMILY’s List (the name stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast, as in, “it makes the dough rise) last month launched a “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” campaign “to provide real opportunities to fight back against the backwards looking and extremist agenda of Sarah Palin and her endorsed candidates.” That campaign rolled out its second Web video today:

    Palin endorsed Fiorina before California’s GOP primary, enraging many supporters of Assemblyman Chuck DeVore who thought he better exemplified the former vice presidential nominee’s anti-establishment conservatism. Fiorina has called herself “proudly pro-life,” while Boxer supports abortion rights.

    Schriock said Boxer “has done a fantastic job in the U.S. Senate for California and for the country,” and deserves EMILY’s List’s continued support. In addition to the independent expenditure spending, the group also will be launching a “Team EMILY” effort in California to put volunteers to work making pro-Boxer and get-out-the-vote calls.

    Boxer needs all the help she can get. She admits she’s in the toughest re-election battle of her career, and the polls bear that out: an average of three polls taken since the start of this month show her 1.4 percentage points ahead of Fiorina, well within any of those polls’ margins of error – a statistical dead heat.

    Schriock said Boxer’s in a tough spot because – atop the old political saw that the party in power loses seats in a midterm election – Californians “are still trying to fight their way out of this recession.”

    “Our mission is to elect pro-choice Democratic women, and all three of those pieces are incredibly important to us,” she said, and although abortion rights are a key factor, it’s not the only one; Boxer and other candidates know the economy will trump social issues this fall. “That’s what the election is going to be about this year, as it should be.”

    Schriock later today will keynote the fourth annual San Francisco Women’s Policy Summit, sponsored by the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee.

    Founded in 1985, EMILY’s List in the 2007-08 election cycle raised more than $43 million to recruit and support women candidates, and to mobilize women voters to turn out and vote.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | 2 Comments »

    CNN poll: Boxer holds tiniest edge

    Hot on the heels of yesterday’s poll showing Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina with the slight edge in her statistical dead heat with incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., comes another poll today showing Boxer with the slight edge.

    A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released today shows Boxer leading Fiorina 48 percent to 44 percent among registered voters; Boxer’s lead just barely exceeds the poll’s 3.5-percentage-point sampling error. Much like the Rasmussen Reports poll released yesterday, a mere 3 percent are undecided, an impressively low figure this long before Election Day. The poll surveyed 866 voters from Sept. 2 – the day after Boxer’s and Fiorina’s first, and perhaps only, televised debate – through yesterday.

    Per CNN’s report:

    “In a battle between two women, female voters will be a key constituency. Right now, 48 percent of women would pick Boxer compared to 43 percent for Fiorina. Six years ago, Boxer won 65 percent of the women’s vote,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

    “The suburban vote has always been important in California, and it looks like that’s the home of the California swing voter this year as well,” adds Holland.”Boxer piles up a 19-point lead in urban areas and Fiorina has a 27-point advantage in rural California. Among suburban voters, the two are running fairly evenly, with 48 percent of the suburbs currently saying they would choose Fiorina and 44 percent picking Boxer.”

    The same survey shows Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman leading Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent, which falls within the sampling error.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, Jerry Brown, Meg Whitman, polls, U.S. Senate | 3 Comments »

    Latest poll: Boxer and Fiorina in dead heat

    The California U.S. Senate race’s first post-debate poll shows the candidates in a statistical dead heat, with Republican challenger Carly Fiorina at 48 percent and incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer at 47 percent.

    Two percent prefer some other candidate and 3 percent remain undecided in the latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of 750 likely voters, conducted yesterday, Monday, Sept. 6, with a four-percentage-point margin of error.

    Rasmussen notes the numbers show a slight shift from two weeks ago, when Boxer lead Fiorina 49 percent to 44 percent. The organization continues to regard the race as a toss-up.

    The poll found 74 percent of Fiorina voters are already certain of how they will vote this November, as are 69 percent of those who support Boxer. Fiorina is backed by 91 percent of Republicans, while Boxer draws support from 86 percent of Democrats; Fiorina holds a slight edge among voters not affiliated with either major political party.

    Boxer’s favorability is at 48 percent (of which 20 percent sees her very favorably) while 50 percent see her unfavorably (of which 41 percent see her very unfavorably); Fiorina’s favorability is at 55 percent (of which 17 percent see her very favorably) while 37 percent see her unfavorably (of which 25 percent see her very unfavorably).

    Californians are sour on the economy – not good news for Boxer, the incumbent seeking a fourth term – as 62 percent describe it as poor, a slightly more negative assessment than results found nationally; 23 percent say the economy is improving, 40 percent say things are getting worse.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | 6 Comments »

    More from tonight’s Boxer-Fiorina debate

    As per usual, there was a lot more to the story of tonight’s semi-epic debate between U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina debate than I could fit into the story for tomorrow’s editions, so here’s some of the rest.

    Asked about the minor flap in which she had reprimanded a general testifying before Congress to call her “Senator” rather than the military honorific “ma’am,” Boxer said “people absolutely have a right to criticize me for anything I do” but she’d thought it appropriate that they address each other by their proper titles. She said she called the general afterward and asked whether she should apologize, and he said that wasn’t necessary. Fiorina said she was “pleased to hear” that Boxer and the general had that conversation.

    The candidates were asked about a federal judge’s decision declaring unconstitutional Proposition 8 of 2008, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, and about inequalities same-sex couples experience under federal Defense of Marriage Act.

    Fiorina said she believes marriage is only between a man and a woman, but supports civil unions for same-sex couples; DOMA was passed with bipartisan support, she noted, while “the voters were quite clear about their views” in passing Prop. 8 and to have one judge overturn those views “seems perhaps not appropriate.” Boxer said our system of government relies on the courts acting as a check on legislation, and she believes “people are coming around to see” that marriage equality is a matter of equal civil rights.

    Boxer was asked about her reputation as being more partisan and less able to work across the aisle than her fellow California senator, Dianne Feinstein; she replied that she has cosponsored about 500 Republican bills, and worked with Republicans to pass legislation enabling afterschool programs and helping veterans.

    “We both need to run on our records and I am proud to run on my record at HP,” Fiorina replied, calling Boxer’s record “long on talk and very short on achievement” because of her partisanship; she noted that climate-change legislation that Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, had idenfitied as a top priority was taken out of her hands and given instead to U.S. Sen. John Kerry, who has more of a reputation for working across the aisle. “I think it’s telling that her bitter partisanship prevented her from getting her top priority accomplished.”

    More after the jump…
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    Posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | 19 Comments »

    More from Barbara Boxer’s SF appearance

    There’s not enough room in the print editions to include all there was to U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s appearance today at the Commonwealth Club of California, so I figured I’d put some of the Q&A segment – moderated by former club board chairman Bob Saldich – up here.

    Barbara Boxer @ Commonwealth Club 8-31-10 (AP Photo/Eric RisbergIt was largely a friendly crowd, as one might expect from San Francisco, and the first question was about how President Barack Obama could be convinced to listen more to the advice of Nobel laureate economist and columnist Paul Krugman. Boxer said she’s not sure how to get the President on board, but for herself, “I think the Krugman idea of more stimulus is a very good idea. The question is, how do you get it to move?”

    That is, any such additional stimulus would face opposition not only from Republicans, but from Democrats feeling gun-shy in advance of November’s midterm elections. Boxer added she believes it’s possible to create more jobs in a fiscally responsible way; she said none of her current proposals would add to the deficit.

    Asked if she would vote to eliminate the filibuster – a parliamentary procedure used by the minority party to stymie legislation – Boxer replied that’s a “complicated question.” The founding fathers intended that the House of Representatives would move quickly on legislation while the Senate would see more deliberation and compromise, but abuse of the filibuster “has gotten out of hand” and all of Democrats’ accomplishments of the past two years – health care reform, college loan reform and others – have been made more difficult by the tactic. She said she would support reforming the filibuster so that those staging one would have to physically remain on the Senate floor for the duration, and by lowering the threshold to invoke cloture and break a filibuster from 60 votes to 55.

    Asked if she still supports California’s high-speed rail project given the hardships it could impose upon neighborhoods along the route – in the Bay Area, along the Peninsula – Boxer replied she respects local governments’ role in helping to plan such projects. “We can change the routes, it’s not impossible, it’s been done before so everyone can be made happy,” she said, but a majority of Californians believe high-speed rail would be an asset and so she still supports it.

    One audience member sent up a question card asking if, given Boxer’s liberal spending record, there are any government programs she would consider eliminating in order to reduce the national debt. “The biggest one would be to end the wars,” she replied, adding she’d also like to see more enforcement to avoid rip-offs by government contractors; everyone paying their fair share in taxes; and no subsidies for companies that send jobs overseas.

    Boxer noted that the biggest tax cut in U.S. history was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act economic stimulus, given to working people and families rather than millionaires and billionaires.

    More after the jump…
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senate | 2 Comments »

    Boxer, Fiorina clash on education funding

    U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was crowing last week that the $26 billion aid package for cash-strapped states includes $1.2 billion for California that would “keep 16,500 teachers on the job.”

    This morning, the campaign of Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina sent out a news release saying California Democrats had other plans for the money: “Another day, another broken promise from Barbara Boxer.”

    The Fiorina release pointed to a Sacramento Bee blog item in which state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said this new federal money could help plug part of the state budget’s gaping deficit. It also says that the federal money won’t be available before districts must plan their budgets and school starts, and that the money won’t flow through to schools under the Legislature passes a budget, so jobs will be lost at least in the interim.

    Both Steinberg’s and Boxer’s offices shot back later this morning.

    “The education jobs law and the guidance from the Department of Education could not be more clear: This funding can only be used to save education jobs that serve our children in public schools – and nothing else,” Boxer said in her statement.

    And Nathan Barankin, Steinberg’s communications director, said Fiorina “fails to grasp the basic fundamentals of budgeting.”

    “News flash to Fiorina: keeping teachers on the job does help the state balance its budget,” he wrote. “Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget proposes to slash school funding by billions, which would result in thousands of teacher layoffs throughout the state. This is an outcome that Senator Boxer and Senator Steinberg want to avoid. The federal money will ensure our schools can afford to keep teachers on the job and our children receive a quality education.”

    Then there’s the issue of timing: whether the federal money would arrive and the state budget would be enacted in time to save teachers’ jobs.

    Districts already have budgeted for this coming school year; when there’s uncertainty about the budget, they peg their budgets to the Governor’s May budget revision. The state Education Code dictates timing of budget-related layoffs, with a June deadline, so districts already have issued their pink slips for this coming year.

    California applied for the federal funding last Friday, Aug. 13, the first day it was possible to make the request, so the governor’s office clearly was wasting no time. Secretary Arne Duncan told governors that day that the U.S. Department of Education anticipates awarding the money within two weeks of receiving approvable applications – in our case, that would be by Aug. 27; he also urged states to give districts an estimate of how much they’ll receive as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly.

    The state need not wait for a budget to be passed and signed into law before passing the federal dollars through to the districts; the state Department of Finance can send a letter to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the caucuses can sign off on it and the money can go out. The hope is that districts would get it in time to choose whether to bring pink-slipped teachers back right away and staff up for this school year, or to save the money as a bulwark against further layoffs next year.

    As California Watch’s Louis Freedberg noted last week, that won’t be possible everywhere. Some districts have started school already, and most others will do so around the end of this month. And local school boards would have to ratify whatever decisions are made on how the funds will be spent.

    As Freedberg concluded, all levels of government – federal, state and local – are going to have to work very quickly and efficiently with clear communications if teachers will be re-hired and paid in time to greet most students returning to school this year. That said, I’d bet there’s not a school district in the state that won’t gratefully accept the money, whenever it arrives.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, California State Senate, Carly Fiorina, Darrell Steinberg, education, state budget, U.S. Senate | 2 Comments »