We’ve already been seeing a slight move toward Democrat Barbara Boxer in the California Senate polling, down from Republican Carly Fiorina’s highs of taking a few leads.
But the new Field Poll release isn’t really new, and really only highlights again how Fiorina has a better chance to win than any California Republican Senate candidate since Pete Wilson.
The top line shows effectively the state of the race we’ve already seen from SurveyUSA and Rasmussen: Boxer 47, Fiorina 41 (MoE 5.8). That lead on the surface looks great for Boxer, but with the MoE how it is, this poll shows it a 70/30 race in Boxer’s favor, not anything like she’s had before.
In August of 2004, Field said Boxer led Bill Jones 50-33 with a 47/40 favorability split. By October that became a 53-34 split with a 53/35 favorability. Right now Field’s favorability for Boxer is negative at 45/48, and unlike Jones, Fiorina has the money available to keep on attacking through November.
This poll also shows a specific path to victory for Fiorina: She’s winning in 49% of the state per this poll: non-LA County Southern California, and the Central Valley. If her turnout beats Boxer’s turnout, and if she can close the gap this poll shows in LA County (47-38 in favor of Boxer), then Fiorina can win.
I freely admit that this is a state I have strong personal feelings about, as I’ve always lived here, and Barbara Boxer has been my Senator for as long as I’ve been following politics. I am consistently surprised to see a Republican this close, this late in my state.
But this poll doesn’t even take into account the air war in progress right now. Boxer and Fiorina are running ads against each other, but this poll was only conducted over a week from 9/14 to 9/21, and will not be taking the new hits from both sides into account.
New polling taken starting around Monday will be needed urgently.