The Massachusetts senatorial elections sent waves of uncertainty to many incumbents across the country and California’s Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has watched her poll numbers drop and competitors pull within single digits.
“Any incumbent who polls below 50% at this point in the season is considered potentially vulnerable,” said Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “However, vulnerable incumbents still have the power of their office and still have a decent chance of winning. The Democratic leaning political gravity of California will certainly give Senator Boxer a boost in that effort.”
The longtime Democratic senator runs best right now against State Assemblyman Chuck Devore, beating him by six points, 46 percent to 40 percent. Two months ago, though, Boxer posted a 10-point lead on DeVore.
The fact that Boxer’s support is frozen at 46 percent against all GOP challengers suggest that the race, for now, is about her rather than those running against her. Boxer is viewed very favorably by 25 percent of California voters but very unfavorably by 34 percent.
“Regardless of the outcome this should be a gigantic wake-up call to the Democratic Party – that we’re not connecting with the needs, the aspirations and the desires of real people right now,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in a San Francisco Chronicle story.
However, what happened in Massachusetts doesn’t predict what is going to happen in California in November, said Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski.
Looking back at the Scott Brown win, Kapolczynski believes DeVore’s conservative supporters will be encouraged. “If the national Tea Party movement is engaged that could dramatically change the Republican primary.”
Newsom says the Republican win in Massachusetts suggests “there’s real intensity and fervor out there, as represented by the Tea Party activists expressing anger at government spending and at job losses. This is real. At our own peril, we dismiss these tea parties as some sort of isolated extremism. It’s not.”
Perhaps more importantly, 55 percent of California voters rate the U.S. economy as poor, while just seven percent 7 percent think it’s good or excellent. Golden State voters remain divided when it comes to California’s economic recovery; 36 percent say it’s getter better, while 35 percent say it’s getting worse, according to a Rasmussen poll.
The conservative resurgence springing up the past year has awakened the GOP – moderate Republicans don’t sell, but conservatives do.
In a recent story from Commentary Magazine, J.E. Dyer, makes the argument for DeVore’s Rasmussen poll numbers. “Boxer’s best margin was 46-40 showing against DeVore, but his is the interesting figure; with his name recognition lower than Carly Fiorina (another GOP in the primary) signifies that voters are likely turning away from Boxer.”
Dyer points to the real problem for Boxer is Obama’s falling approval.
“We are encouraged by Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts. Some of you may not be aware that DeVore supporters actually had boots on the ground in MA walking precincts and making phone calls,” says Teri Peters a DeVore staffer. “Tweeters for Chuck, have connected with Brown supporters on Twitter and many of them have made commitments to support DeVore for the next big victory. We are building support that we hope spreads across the nation.”
The party of big government that tried (and failed) to pass enormous legislation for health care and cap and trade did so without much support from middle-class America. Most believe the Obama Administration should have been focused on the economy and creating jobs.
“In my view, when people are earning, when their home is secure, when their children are going to school and they’re relatively satisfied with their life, then [when] there’s a problem like health care, they want it solved,” Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said in a Politico story. “It doesn’t threaten them. The size of this bill threatens them, and that’s one of the problems that has to be straightened out.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand said, “Evidently Dianne Feinstein understands that Massachusetts was a wake-up call for the Democrats, and Feinstein realizes that Californians don’t want a burdensome cap-and-tax bill or massive health care plan that has been crafted behind closed doors. So why has Feinstein’s California colleague, Barbara Boxer, failed to come to this same conclusion?”
Smelling blood in the water, NRSC is ramping up for what appears to be Boxer’s toughest re-election battle of her Senatorial career.
“Californians want Senators who will listen to them – not another partisan rubber stamp for Harry Reid and President Obama’s unpopular agenda in Washington,” Marchand concluded.
A big time endorsement from Senator Jim DeMint-R SC went to California conservative Chuck DeVore who hopes to win his primary and take on sitting liberal Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer.
Looking ahead to the 2010 election, Chuck DeVore hopes a Reagan-style landslide is in his future with the support of such a prominent Republican Senator. This five-year veteran in the California State Assembly sees the upcoming election as a way to change the country’s future.
“He is in a very difficult state (CA), and when he gets here (D.C.) he’s going to join a country- not a club,” DeMint quipped. “We need to shake up the Republican Party, and Chuck’s not afraid to stand up to his own party and say you’re wrong.”
California currently faces historic unemployment rates, continued budget shortfalls and a man made drought in the Central Valley.
“Chuck stands by the farmers even when California’s current Senators continue to do nothing,” says DeMint.
DeVore explained he was delighted to get DeMint’s endorsement. “Jim sees our California Senators are falling down on the job at the federal level- they could help our farmers in the Central Valley.”
After the political landslide in this week’s elections, both Senator and candidate see promise in the upcoming 2010 midterms. “The election’s were an indication that if Republicans are willing to put a good campaign together, they can win in any state in the country,” DeMint said.
Running for office in ultra liberal California poses unique challenges for Republicans, especially a conservative one. You have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan to see a strong victory.
“There are two reasons why I am running against Ma’am Boxer; one because we so badly need to beat her and two, I know we can do it in 2010,” DeVore enthusiastically said.
DeVore expects to run on conservative principles. In his five-year career in the California State Assembly, DeVore held his ground. DeVore also has a strong military background.
“We (California) can’t keep spending and borrowing our way out problems,” DeVore explained. “California can’t grow government with borrowed money from China.”
Clearly DeVore believes something is broken in the California legislative process and would like an opportunity to address the issues at a federal level.
Before DeVore can take his shot against Boxer, he must win the Republican primary against Carly Fiorina. “This race will set up a wonderful contrast. I consider myself a true Reagan Republican, Carly is more of a Rockefeller Republican.”
In any case California’s Senate seat is ripe for the picking.
For another story on Chuck DeVore; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m9d18-DeVore-has-his-eye-on-Maam-Barbara-Boxers-Senate-seat
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner