Poll: Boxer in tough fight to keep CA Senate seat

March 18, 2010 6:32:27 PM PDT
California Sen. Barbara Boxer's re-election campaign is shaping up as the fight of her political career, according to a field poll released on Thursday.

ABC7 News heard from all of the Republican contenders on Thursday. Boxer isn't talking and for her the polling numbers are the most telling.

In January, Boxer had a 10 to 15 point lead over her closest Republican rivals. Today, Republican Tom Campbell leads by a point.

"They're wonderful. I'm happy to see that the message I've been giving which is all on the economy trying to get people jobs again has been well received," he said.

Republican Carly Fiorina is just a single point behind Boxer.

"I'm very encouraged by the field poll. First it shows what we've known for some time that Barbara Boxer is extremely vulnerable," she said.

And Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore trails Boxer in a head to head by just four points.

"Well I love the poll numbers, my two Republican rivals actually slipped. I gained three points and the undecided numbers went up," he said.

DeVore, the 'tea party' favorite on the Republican side, is talking about the numbers, which show a support for Campbell and Fiorina has declined since January, while DeVore has gained three points.

"Which shows that no one has closed the deal and this race is wide open," DeVore said.

ABC7's political analyst Bruce Cain points out all the fluctuations since January are within the poll's margin of error, which he says indicates very little movement.

"Chuck DeVore is not making much of an inroad and it looks like a two person race at this point between Carly Fiorina and Tom Campbell," he said.

Cain says the real sheaf is on the Democratic side, where Boxer's unfavorable numbers have shot up 12 points.

"It's certainly a wake-up call to Barbara Boxer, not that she needs it. I think she's been aware of this, that she's in for a tough race, much tougher than she's had in the past," he said.

The chair of the State Democratic Party says it's natural to expect all incumbents are facing a head wind.

"Barbara is always behind at a time like this, but compared to her opponents she's going to do fine, and the Democrats will do fine," State Democratic Party Chair John Burton said.

It is early, and Boxer's campaign has yet to fire up its campaign advertising. But the poll numbers are significant in that we're seeing -- a race shape up that will be a first for the three-term senator -- a close one.


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