A few states go to the primary polls today, but California has two high-profile races on the line. In the Senate, three Republicans are vying for the chance to unseat Barbara Boxer, and the race has changed rather dramatically over the last couple of weeks. Former Congressman Tom Campbell had surged into a short-lived lead, but as Pollster.com shows in its aggregated survey tracking, Carly Fiorina seems to have made the sale:
Chuck DeVore has been the Tea Party favorite in California, but that hasn’t helped move DeVore’s numbers out of third place, as the trend lines show. The sudden drop of Campbell into the low twenties (or lower, to 19% in the latest Magellan survey) has entirely benefited Fiorina. Campbell’s one winning argument, his head-to-head performance against Boxer, also seems to have dissipated:
Fiorina does about the same against Boxer now, a deficit of seven points, but improving over time:
Boxer faces her own challenge against Mickey Kaus, who has run a gadfly primary campaign. Kaus tacks to the right on immigration while also skewering Boxer on performance. Boxer should win handily, but Kaus has made his point. By the end of the day, we should see a Fiorina vs Boxer match that will be a good test for the anti-incumbent mood in the nation, along with the a measure of just how fed up Californians have become with the status quo of Democratic leadership.
The gubernatorial primary has been more clear cut for the past few weeks. Steve Poizner appeared to get within striking distance of Meg Whitman, and he has picked up more support, but the former eBay CEO has a commanding 20-point lead in the polling aggregate:
Unfortunately, Whitman’s momentum against likely Democratic nominee Jerry Brown reversed itself this spring:
Poizner has actually picked up a little ground against Brown, but is still eleven points back:
It looks as though the GOP has its work cut out for itself in both races, no matter who gets the nominations. California is still more liberal than conservative, and the power bases of Los Angeles and San Francisco carry a disproportionate weight in state-wide elections.