The bad news for Democrats keeps coming from the Field Research polling, which just yesterday showed Jerry Brown effectively tied in the Governor’s race with Meg Whitman. Today Field released its results from the Senate contest, (PDF) and they show incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer with only a three-point lead over her Republican challenger, Carly Fiorina. This poll puts Fiorina easily within striking distance of a win in November.
Field (PDF) (6/22-7/5)
The one piece of good news for Boxer is that her lead over Fiorina has improved by two points since Field polled the race back in March (Boxer 45-Fiorina 44). The bump is small enough, though, that it could be just statistical noise.
Boxer’s job-approval numbers have sunk with the economic downturn hitting California hard, while she serves her third term in a completely broken Senate incapable of passing legislation to provide basic help to regular Americans. From Field (PDF):
Since January of this year the image that voters have of Boxer has become more negative. More voters now hold an unfavorable (52%) than favorable (41%) view of her. Also, appraisals of the job Boxer is doing have declined and are now close to the lowest ratings she has received in her eighteen-year tenure. At present, 43% of the state’s registered voters disapprove of the Senator’s performance, while 42% approve. Among likely voters 48% disapprove and 42% approve.
It appears Senate Republicans’ smart political strategy of pure obstructionism has paid off very well in California. Boxer is getting the blame for a broken Senate unable to deal with the nation’s problems. As a member of the majority party, Boxer is taking the heat for the Democrats’ lack of action. Politically, Senate Democrats look like idiots for not doing away with the filibuster and allowing Senate Republicans to have the power to prevent Democrats from running the federal government. Democrats like to point to the GOP filibusters as the reason for the Senate’s failure to act, but voters are still blaming Democrats as the majority party.
Unlike Democrat Brown, Boxer has a strong support from voters under 40. Among that age group, she leads Fiorina, 52-33. If putting marijuana legalization on the ballot does result in a large increase in youth turnout, as some have speculated, it could really help Boxer.