Surprise in CA: Late entry in GOP Senate primary takes the lead

posted at 11:20 am on January 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed the two heretofore leading candidates for the Republican nomination to challenge Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat, Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina.  Both candidates have sounded similar themes, both have emphasized their conservative credentials, and both have claimed that they can beat Boxer in November.  However, both of them finished behind former Congressman Tom Campbell in the latest Field Poll, not just against each other but also against Boxer:

Former Congressman Tom Campbell, who only last week switched his political sights from the governor’s race to the U.S. Senate, has become the front runner in the California GOP Senate primary.

In a survey completed between January 5 and 17, The Field Poll finds Campbell the choice of 30% of likely GOP primary election voters, businesswoman Carly Fiorina receives 25%, while Assemblyman Chuck DeVore trails at 6%. About four in ten (39%) of GOP primary voters are undecided. …

When paired against each of the GOP candidates in general election match-ups, Boxer leads Campbell by ten points (48% to 38%), Fiorina by fifteen points (50% to 35%) and DeVore by seventeen points (51% to 34%).

Interestingly, Boxer gets less than a majority against Campbell, indicating perhaps more opportunity — at least at this very early stage — than with the other candidates.  Campbell only announced for this race on January 14th, at least officially, while the survey was conducted from the 5th to the 17th — all but three days with Campbell not officially declared.  That’s an impressive showing, especially since DeVore and Fiorina have been publicly battling for the last few months.

Campbell may have some trouble generating support amongst conservatives, at least outside of California.  He was known as a moderate while in the House, a pro-choice and pro-gay rights Republican, which made political sense in his mainly Democratic district.  Campbell has more firm ground on fiscal conservatism, which gives him some libertarian support.  He lost the 2000 Senate race to Dianne Feinstein (partly due to the Clinton impeachment), which both Fiorina and DeVore can argue shows him to be a weak choice to fight Boxer.    DeVore can fight Campbell on social policy, while Fiorina will certainly have access to more campaign cash, mostly her own if she chooses to use it.

In this survey of 958 likely voters by Field, one of the venerable California pollsters, Boxer ends up with a 48%/39% favorable rating, a very low number for an incumbent in any year, and especially in this one.  Boxer’s vulnerable, but she’s not dead in the water.  The question for Republicans is which of these candidates gives California the best improvement and still can get elected?  It’s a tough choice, but it’s better to have a wider selection in the primary, and thus far Republicans appear to like Campbell’s entry into the race.

Update: I received the following statement from the Fiorina campaign:

“We continue to be encouraged by the polling in this race showing that Carly is a strong candidate both in the primary and in the general election and also showing that voters are highly unsatisfied with Barbara Boxer’s continued support for bigger government and higher taxes. Tom Campbell is a career politician who has run for statewide office now three times so you would have expected that his high name ID would have come through more strongly in this poll, and, once voters learn that Tom has spent the last five years supporting increased government spending, higher taxes and now refuses to commit to not voting for more tax increases in the Senate we expect his numbers to fall fast, just like Martha Coakley’s did in Massachusetts.”– Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications Julie Soderlund

I wouldn’t call this poll bad news for Fiorina so much as it isn’t good news.  In fact, Campbell’s record could allow Fiorina to position herself as the more consistently conservative candidate, especially if DeVore can’t gain any more traction.  We’ll see what the DeVore campaign has to say.

Update: Bruce Kesler is not optimistic about California being another Massachusetts, and points to a much lower percentage of independent voters.  I’d call that an artificial condition imposed by a closed-primary system, but Bruce has a point.  Be sure to read his entire post.


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The very best GOP candidate out of California would the best RINO liar of the bunch. Californians are masochisic in their voting patterns. Conservatism is rare.

volsense on January 21, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Either way, if California continues to vote for these far left statists, than they deserve what they get. That goes for both party members, and independents. Just keep voting for Boxer and her looney ideology, and eventually this country will be the USSA.

capejasmine on January 21, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Massachusetts electing a republican to replace Kennedy? California possibly busting out Babs Boxer? It’s like I’m living in a magical dream world.

Goldenavatar on January 21, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Blacksmith8 on January 21, 2010 at 12:38 PM

The good news is Gavin Newsome likely won’t run for Senate. He was considering a run for Governor last year; but changed his mind when he discovered just how little support he had outside SF in his own internal polling. If Gavin can’t get traction for a Governor run, he won’t have much luck with running for Congress either.

Suihei Deloi on January 21, 2010 at 12:56 PM

As much as I detest everything Boxer stands for, Fiorina isn’t a lot better to me. She “earned” gobs of money by running her former company (Hewlett Packard) into the toilet before leaving with an enormous golden parachute. I used to own HP stock and watched it drop (under her stewardship) from a little over $80 a share to a little over $40. The only impressive thing she did was get her golden parachute to open when the HP board voted her OUT. Another “know-it-all” incompetent neither California NOR the U.S. Senate needs.

bradley11 on January 21, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Yes. Fiorina is a train wreck candidate. Campbell needs to get on the right side of RKBA; until then he is just the lesser weevil.

Kenosha Kid on January 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Mirimichi on January 21, 2010 at 12:32 PM

DeVore seems smart and solid on the issues (at least those important to me) and has done a pretty good job of raising money, but I think in the long run he may be hampered by lack of charisma. (Sad but true)

LASue on January 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

if California continues to vote for these far left statists

Believe it or not California used to be a fairly conservative state. That is until nearly all of the Nation’s leftist Kooks,and Mexico’s socialist population moved here. If they would all go home we would be all right out here.

Kjeil on January 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Allow me to repeat outside of the bothched quote box: Campbell needs to get on the right side of RKBA; until then he is just the lesser weevil.

Kenosha Kid on January 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Don’t tell me, let me guess.
You stayed home in 2006, too.

That’s worked out real nicely, hasn’t it?

VelvetElvis on January 21, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I live in LA. No Republicans here. Campbell is a Democrat in Republican clothing. No vote from me.

unclesmrgol on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The Field Poll is typically skewed left.

In California, the Field Poll is commonly regarded as less accurate than guessing. For example, the next-to-last Field poll (Sept. 28) on the governor’s race in 2003 showed Arnold behind by 1 point. He won by 17.

Emperor Norton on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Don’t tell me, let me guess.
You stayed home in 2006, too.

That’s worked out real nicely, hasn’t it?

VelvetElvis on January 21, 2010 at 11:50 AM

And I voted for Swartzenegger. Look what it got me.

unclesmrgol on January 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Tom Campbell may be a flawed candidate but he has better name recognition than Devore and has been a tireless servant to the people of California. And, Fiorina is just a liberal as Campbell but she’s only discovered voting recently and I find that offensive.

Like Mr. Brown in Mass., California will never have a 100% conservative but fiscal conservatism and strong national defense are my highest priorities.

Campbell has been in the private sector, academia and public service. He’s likable. He couldn’t beat Feinstein because even I like her and have never voted for her. Feinstein has a substantially different reputation in California than Boxer. Boxer is the “b” word with a capital B.

I’m excited by his entry. I hope he wins because Babs MUST be stopped.

norcalgal on January 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Campbell will have a difficult time winning the primary because the CA republicans are run by the right wing activists. I also like DeVore, but he will not attract any independents or decline to state voters in the general election, and Boxer will once again sail to comfortable victory over a marginalized opponent. Campbell is the only choice, but I am not sure the GOP here is smart enough to think that far ahead. History says it isn’t

Hazard on January 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

When Boxer gets voted out, her last official act could be to take the rocks out her head and put them back on the Sacramento River bank where she got them.

RBMN on January 21, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Please send this harpy packing!

Claypigeon on January 21, 2010 at 1:18 PM

DeVore or Fiorina are suitable candidates. But Tom Campbell is simply
not acceptable.

Campbell is listed as a member of the Muslim Caucus on this website.

Tom Campbell is unelectable.

Emperor Norton on January 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM

California is a lost cause. I say we just sell it to Mexico, they practically own it anyway. Ten years down the road when they fall behind on their payments and the people have abandoned it… we slap a coat of paint on it and Flip It for a profit.

ronnyraygun on January 21, 2010 at 1:21 PM

I live in LA. No Republicans here. Campbell is a Democrat in Republican clothing. No vote from me.

unclesmrgol on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Exactly, unlike Brown who was up front about who he was, Campbell is a RINO. He will vote with the dems every chance he gets…he is about as much of a Republican and John Kerry…look at his record and then compare it with what he says to the Republicans…

right2bright on January 21, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Emperor Norton on January 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Yeah, well, Debbie, what can one say…isn’t she the one who makes fun of Palin’s kids because she thinks they have funny names…not exactly a mark of journalist intelligence.
Next time try another link, to a real journalist or at least someone with an ounce of credibility…

right2bright on January 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM

The goal is to get rid of Boxer…She must go

TheBigOldDog on January 21, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I still say, take a saw to the Cali border and cut it off from the rest of this nation. Then, let come what may.

madmonkphotog on January 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I wish Ducnan Hunter would run for Senate in California. He was my #1 in the Presidential Race but alas he didn’t get any attention.

Daemonocracy on January 21, 2010 at 11:54 AM

I wish he’d run for Governor. Our choices are horrible!

yogi41 on January 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Campbell is a strong fiscal conservative, with the best resume in the business:

Harvard law degree
University of Chicago PhD in economics (under Milton Friedman)
U.S. Supreme Court law clerk
Stanford law professor
State senator
U.S. Congressman
State director of finance

He would have made a great governor, but dropped out of that race due to a lack of money to run against two Silicon Valley oligarchs in the primary.

Sowell Disciple on January 21, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Harvard Law Degree
Harvard Law review
Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude
Director of the Developing Communities Project
Constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School
Illinois State Senator
U.S. State Senator

Yeah, it looks like Campbell is well qualified…

right2bright on January 21, 2010 at 1:36 PM

GREAT BOXER GRAPHIC HERE!

Mutnodjmet on January 21, 2010 at 1:37 PM

When the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) moved into its headquarters on Capitol Hill, Tom Campbell joined in the celebration!

“The move of CAIR to Capitol Hill is an indication that the Muslim community is engaging itself at a very high level of political participation,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad at the grand opening. . .Several members of Congress, including Republican Congressmen Tom Campbell and Democrat James Moran also came to lend their support.”

Emperor Norton on January 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM

You must kiss the Gay’s ring before being a viable candidate in CA. Don’t hold that against a Republican candidate… there’s no way around it these days.

leftnomore on January 21, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Campbell may have all the elitist Ivy League education cred, but DeVore has been fighting higher taxes and working with the GOP since he was 19.
Some highlights:

Current job:
-He is the Vice Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation and serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee, and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Chuck was elected in 2004 and reelected in 2006 and in 2008.

Has scientific background:
-Chuck worked in the aerospace industry for 13 years and was vice president of research before leaving work to begin serving as an elected official.

Reagan appointee and foreign policy experience:
-Chuck served as a Reagan White House appointee in the Pentagon from 1986 to 1988. As Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs his duties included working with Congress to advance the President’s foreign and military policy. Chuck’s official travels took him to Asia, Europe, Africa, and Central America. His initiative helped develop the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile program.

Military background and education:
-In 1983, Chuck enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. He earned an ROTC scholarship that allowed him to attend Claremont McKenna College where he graduated with honors with a degree in Strategic Studies in 1985 and was commissioned an officer. He also studied overseas at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. After more than 24 years of service, Chuck retired from the Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College, his awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster, and others.

Understands China:
-Chuck is also the author of the internationally acclaimed novel, China Attacks. Written in 1999 and translated into Chinese in 2000, the book, banned in China, sells well in Taiwan where Chuck met with Taiwanese government and military leaders in 2001 and again in 2005.

Understands Man-made Global Warming farce (extremely important in CA):
-In 2008, he authored a scholarly piece entitled, “Relative Risk: Global Warming and Imported Fossil Fuels vs. Nuclear Power,” for the UC Berkeley School of Law’s inaugural edition of Ecology Law Currents.

NTWR on January 21, 2010 at 1:54 PM

DeVore seems smart and solid on the issues (at least those important to me) and has done a pretty good job of raising money, but I think in the long run he may be hampered by lack of charisma. (Sad but true)

LASue on January 21, 2010

Is there a Scott Brown school of charisma and political savvy? Just don’t sign up for the Gingrich tutorial.

SKYFOX on January 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Just having a poll in which the GOPer is beating Boxer is great. First Brown wins, Pelosi quits on HCR, McCain-Feingold loses, it’s like Ramadan in January. h/t Ann Coulter

Lou Budvis on January 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Tom Campbell is all about running for something. Not unlike a harlot jumping from bed to bed.

A politician, through and through.

He is the Republican version of John Garamendi:
The Running Man

juanito on January 21, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Personally, I fee that Campbell is a rhino in an elephant suit BUT, as a Californian, I also recognize that he might be the best we could realistically hope for. Appealing to your base won’t get you elected here, you need some common ground with independents and need crossover Democrats to win a statewide election. Running in a conservative House district is much different from running statewide as the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas have the balance of power in those elections.

California is also often misunderstood. We are actually more conservative than people think we are, we just don’t like the government saying we have to be. For many Californians, being pro choice or pro gay rights is more about liberty than about attempting to legislate morality. In other words, the notion of “I personally am pro life but I don’t want the government telling me I have to be” is a fairly common sentiment. It is sort of along the same lines as why one has gambling and prostitution in Nevada which has primarily a pretty conservative Mormon population. Just because gambling is legal doesn’t mean someone has to run right out and do it.

Morals that stand in the face of freedom are real morals because they are adopted willingly. Morals that are enforced by law or by people are of lesser value because they stand only under duress. It is a weak philosophy that requires adherence only by force of law.

crosspatch on January 21, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Campbell’s more of a known political face, he’s decent on fiscal issues, and most Dems do not regard him as a social-con threat.

I do not vote social-con issues, if anything I’m pro-choice for libertarian reasons, so he’s fine with me on that front.

On the other hand, if I recall correctly he’s been on the wrong side of the climate-fraud/carbon-regulation nonsense, which is one item that’s pretty much a litmus-test issue for me.

In the end I’d like to support DeVore, but I’ll take anyone who can knock off Boxer.

JEM on January 21, 2010 at 2:13 PM

I like Carly, and I think she has potential. However, she failed to raise the money. That’s probably due to her own personal issues with cancer, frankly.

I think DeVore is too conservative for CA. He just isn’t the right message for that state.

Maybe Campbell is the right one. What’s fascinating is to see someone come out and emerge as a leader.

I’d so love to see Boxer gone. I’m for anyone who can beat her.

AnninCA on January 21, 2010 at 2:18 PM

However, she failed to raise the money.

She doesn’t need to raise any money. She is literally a multi-billionaire.

crosspatch on January 21, 2010 at 2:21 PM

DeVore has been doing great with social networking, and has a really great website. Find our how he stands on the issues.

This is what is most important to me right now, and Chuck DeVore has been the most solid on the issue:

Chuck DeVore on California’s water woes

As a California State Assemblyman, Chuck DeVore understands how important common sense water management is to our state’s growth and economic health. We need clean water for our families, for our farmers, and for our future economic growth. Unfortunately, Sen. Barbara Boxer and her radical environmental allies see control of water as a way to shut down California’s growth. They’ll use any means necessary to prevent added water storage and conveyance to the places it’s needed for farming and to sustain our communities.

We must end the man-made, government-caused drought that has idled about 100,000 acres and devastated farmers on the Central Valley’s West Side.

We’re getting drenched right now but all the water is just running into the ocean since the enviroMENTALists won’t let anyone build dams, reservoirs, or even maintain the existing infrastructure for water delivery. It’s an evil joke what Boxer and her little pals are doing in the name of some non-native 3″ bait fish.

NTWR on January 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM

She doesn’t need to raise any money. She is literally a multi-billionaire.

crosspatch on January 21, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I guess raising money is more than just “money.” Apparently, it matters.

I have noticed that this type of super-rich rarely really do spend their own money on elections. Maybe that’s why they remain rich? *haha

AnninCA on January 21, 2010 at 2:25 PM

AnninCA, she can “raise” as much money as she wants by writing a check.

crosspatch on January 21, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Well, fundraising is a reflection of support. Apparently, she’s slipping on that key factor.

In any event, I would like to see the right candidate beat Boxer.

AnninCA on January 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM

AlfonZo Rachel for Senate!

Doodad Pro on January 21, 2010 at 2:35 PM

There is no way DeVore can win here. We need someone like Scott Brown. Fiscally conservative but plays down their social issues. Campbell is publicly viewed as a three time looser. And Carly, the most formidable foe to Boxer, is a wacco. We are the opposite of MA, Californians haven’t elected a male to the congress since to an open seat since Pete Wilson in 1982, and the re-election of Alan Cranston in 1990 (sorry to dredge up bad memories.)
.
I feel, with this field, we are doomed to re-elect Boxer.

JeffVader on January 21, 2010 at 2:39 PM

“Well, fundraising is a reflection of support.”

Not really. I would be inclined to donate to Carly’s campaign but figure she doesn’t need it so I will donate elsewhere, such as to David Harmer’s run for the House in Contra Costa county. He doesn’t have Carly’s money.

Fundraising isn’t always a “scoreboard”. I don’t donate to people’s campaigns just to run up their “score”, I donate if I believe they need to be in office AND if they need it AND if I can afford it.

I am not donating to anyone’s campaign for Senate until after the primary.

crosspatch on January 21, 2010 at 2:44 PM

48% favorable. Who are these people?

JusDreamin on January 21, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I’m not sure if I agree about the social conservative aspect bringing DeVore down. I’m pretty libertarian when it comes to social issues and don’t think the government should be involved in most. That said, if the government is going to force us to say whether we believe one way or the other, as a state or country, I’ll side with the conservative take on most cases.
In California we have a rabid, attention-seeking gay population that wants to be in your face and in your laws. I don’t care who marries who but then those same people who want equal rights when it comes to marriage want to take away my rights when it comes to free speech, gun ownership, and property rights.

Prop 8 showed that minorities are socially conservative. They came out to vote for Obama and also wanted to make sure gay marriage didn’t happen in our state.

Granted, minorities won’t come out in droves for DeVore, but our state is destroyed and we shouldn’t be messing with social stuff when our infrastructure and economy is collapsing.

NTWR on January 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Don’t you think Campbell will go along with the new popular fiscal conservatism?

PattyJ on January 21, 2010 at 3:25 PM

I would not put too much stock in a Field Poll. They are notorious for throwing out early polls showing the Democrat (or the Democrat position) winning by a big margin. Of course, they almost always tighten at the end so they can keep their reputation as an “accurate” pollster.

As for the primary numbers, Campbell is a well-know candidate out here already, but is 0-for-2 in running for the Senate. He lost the 1992 GOP primary and he got destroyed 55% to 36% against Feinstein in 2000.

DeVore is the more conservative candidate for sure, but I don’t think he has much appeal statewide. Campbell is so-so on most issues and is a proven loser to Dems in Senate races. Carly should have great appeal to independent women, but it remains to be seen if she can campaign. In an election year that looks to be based on anti-incumbency it is probably best to run someone who is completely from the outside and not an old GOP-insider like Campbell.

aaron31 on January 21, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Yeah, well, Debbie, what can one say…isn’t she the one who makes fun of Palin’s kids because she thinks they have funny names…not exactly a mark of journalist intelligence.
Next time try another link, to a real journalist or at least someone with an ounce of credibility…

right2bright on January 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Um, attacking Debbie, and not addressing FACTS, means that her article is correct. TOM CAMPBELL IS A TERRORIST/JIHADI/ISLAMIC SYMPATHIZER. Devore is the better choice.

Andy in Agoura Hills on January 21, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Carly Fiorina did all she could for HP. Tech stocks have all been tanking for a long time and she can’t be responsible for all of that. Her successor has been getting more credit than he deserves because he lays off a few hundred more people every month or so. That just isn’t a way to develop products for the future or open new markets.

TwilightAuthor on January 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

I live in LA. No Republicans here. Campbell is a Democrat in Republican clothing. No vote from me.

unclesmrgol on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I don’t want to call you stupid, Sir. But there is a conservative in LA who can start a movement and clean the Republican Party in your district.

Who is that person?

Just look at the mirror, Sir. It’s you!!!!

You!!!!! You!!!!!

It always starts with one person. That person can do a lot if he has “faith” in himself.

Start now, Sir! We’re waiting for your patriotism.

TheAlamos on January 21, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I live in LA. No Republicans here. Campbell is a Democrat in Republican clothing. No vote from me.

unclesmrgol on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM
I don’t want to call you stupid, Sir. But there is a conservative in LA who can start a movement and clean the Republican Party in your district.

Who is that person?

Just look at the mirror, Sir. It’s you!!!!

You!!!!! You!!!!!

It always starts with one person. That person can do a lot if he has “faith” in himself.

Start now, Sir! We’re waiting for your patriotism.

TheAlamos on January 21, 2010 at 3:56 PM

+10000!

TN Mom on January 21, 2010 at 4:02 PM

It could be another Massachusetts on the west coast this man in the video is very upset.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4aQCiRjvZY

mixplix on January 21, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Harvard Law Degree
Harvard Law review
Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude
Director of the Developing Communities Project
Constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School
Illinois State Senator
U.S. State Senator

Yeah, it looks like Campbell is well qualified…

Ouch.

SlimyBill on January 21, 2010 at 4:38 PM

live in LA. No Republicans here.
unclesmrgol on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

You are not as alone as you think.

LASue on January 21, 2010 at 4:53 PM

… DeVore has been fighting higher taxes and working with the GOP since he was 19.

NTWR on January 21, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Thanks for the synopsis, I’ll be watching, and, hopefully, funding.

Maquis on January 21, 2010 at 5:57 PM

His website, http://www.campbell.org/, makes a good case.

flataffect on January 21, 2010 at 6:32 PM

DeVore is great. But can’t win. He should be happy to get some message out there before losing in the primaries.

Fiorina probably has the best chance to defeat Boxer, being a woman, but would ultimately be a disappointing senator. She was fired as CEO of HP and deserved to be. She was terrible. Also, everybody I know who knows her and has done business with her in Silicon Valley can’t stand her. She’s very unpopular – at least she was when she was in business. Nobody liked her at Lucent either. It’s a wonder.

Campbell is fiscally conservative. Being director of Schwartzenpecker’s Department of Finance might have forced him into the tax raising stance. C’mon, Cali’s finances are fucked. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, if it ever does. The rest of the “five years” Fiorina’s staff mentioned he was dean of Haas Business School (Cal), which one could twist to say he was backing spending increases.

I like Campbell. Have met him on a few occasions. He’s brainy – almost awkwardly so. Very much a nerdy professor. Definitely not one who’d get asked to pose in Cosmo. He also doesn’t debate well, because his nerdy, matter-of-fact, clinical style comes across as overprepared, canned, and uncomfortable. But, he’s very practical. And was very well respected in the House when he was there – on both sides of the aisle.

Pablo Snooze on January 21, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I think Tom Campbell would make an excellent Senator; he’s definitely has a legislative temperament, and is a careful thinker and analytic person. He won’t be the most dynamic person in the Senate, but he would dive into detail and make sure that crap didn’t get passed.

He’s “socially liberal”, but so are the vast majority of Californians; so-con politicians don’t win here at the state level, although so-con issues sometimes do.

He did well getting out of the Governor’s race. Frankly, I wish Carly would switch over to the Governor’s race as we need a seriously hardcore “neutron Jack”-style CEO to come in and fire half the state bureaucracy.

foobarista on January 21, 2010 at 6:50 PM

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