Archive for the ‘–CA Senate’ Category

Latino Voters Key Part of Western Democratic Firewall

Monday, November 8th, 2010

On election night last week, NBC’s Brian Williams interviewed Jose Diaz Ballart, the Telemundo anchor, who said that if Harry Reid was elected, he better learn to say “muchas gracias,” because Latino’s turned out to vote for him at levels that matched or exceeded those of the 2008 presidential election.

This pattern was repeated in a number of other high profile races in the West. While the dynamics in each case vary, Latino’s played key roles in Democratic victories in Colorado, Nevada and California, and in the process highlighted what should be a concerning trend for Republicans.

In Nevada, Sharron Angle went out of her way to make not so subtle racial appeals in her closing arguments. This, combined with a strong get out the vote effort by Harry Reid’s campaign helped propel Reid to an upset. In Colorado, Latinos combined with women to help Michael Bennet buck the trend and win a close race against Tea Party candidate Ken Buck. Meanwhile in California,  the allegations made by Meg Whitman’s maid and the way in which she handled them combined with another strong get out the vote effort focusing on Latinos helped not only Jerry Brown, but also Barbara Boxer. Over 1 in 5 voters in California were Latino in this election cycle and they broke overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Gil Cedillo points out that George Bush and Karl Rove saw the importance of Latino voters in building a successful Republican party in the long term, but that many Republican politicians have been focused on short-term political gain that can come from scapegoating Latinos, especially in the Republican primaries. While this may be a successful strategy in some parts of the country, it will become less and less so as time goes on.

Republicans may want to consider the fate of the Republican party in California, who never recovered from Pete Wilson’s attempt to deny illegal immigrant children access to school in 1994. Pete Wilson won that election, but he was the last non-action hero Republican to win a major statewide office in the state.

We can only hope that the Republicans are dumb enough to follow his lead nationwide.

Field Poll: Boxer by 8

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

The new Field Poll, the gold standard for California polling, has Boxer up by 8 over Fiorina, with just a few days until election day. 

I almost titled this post “Out of Touch Career Politician by 8 Over Corporate Outsourcer,” because that basically sums up the media narrative for this race. 

Boxer is the least popular of our two Senators here in California and has generally benefited from drawing weak challengers for her re-election campaigns. George Will opined earlier this year that if Barbara Boxer could win in California this year, it would show that Republicans have no chance of winning in the state. Increasingly, it looks like that may be the case.

As Cal Buzz notes,

While Boxer’s favorable-to-unfavorable rating is just 48-47%, she is drawing more than eight in 10 Democrats, about half the independents and men and a majority of women. She has nearly two-thirds of the Latinos, plus six in 10 voters in Los Angeles and more than six in 10 voters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While the specifics of the race are clearly different, Boxer suffers from the same fate that I talked about in my previous post on the governor’s race: Republicans have to run to far to the right in order to win the Republican nomination, and then are too extreme for the Democrat dominated general election voters. In Fiorina’s case, this includes her pro-life stance on abortion, her position in favor of offshore drilling and her opposition to California’s climate change law.  Basically, California voters are predisposed to vote Democratic and any candidate that wants them to deviate from that vote needs to convince them that they are not like national Republicans. Fiorina has so far been unable to do so, and in fact, as the Field’s Poll’s Director noted, as the election gets closer, more and more Democratic voters are “coming home.”   

Boxer has also benefited from her ability to define Carly Fiorina as an innefective CEO who made over a hundred million dollars a year while outsourcing jobs to other countries. Recently, Joe Klein of Time Magazine traveled across the country and discussed the election with voters. One of the things he found was that the issue that most came up was one that is rarely discussed by politicians (mainly because they have no solution for it), and that is the movement of jobs to other countries, specifically India and China. While Barbara Boxer hasn’t offered anyting particularly specific to deal with this, she was able to use this anxiety to her advantage by pointing out constantly that HP cut 30,000 jobs under Fiorina while expanding operations overseas. This commercial plays many times a day on California television stations and has done a lot to define Fiorina in voters’ minds. In a particularly bad sign Fiorina, independents have a 50% favorable feeling towards Boxer vs 36% unfavorable, while the Fiorina numbers are 51%-30%.

Again, no popping of champagne corks right now. Some polls have shown this race closer than Field has it, but these dynamics with only a few more days to go are not good for Fiorina’s prospects.

Corporate Money Deluge Continues in California

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The rumored next buy from the Chamber of Commerce looks like it will bring the total spent against Barbara Boxer to $4.5 million.

Thanks activist judges!