Rasmussen is out with its latest poll numbers on the US Senate race, and unsurprisingly finds it will be a close race:
Boxer (D) 46%
Fiorina (R) 42%
Boxer (D) 47%
DeVore (R) 42%
Boxer (D) 45%
Campbell (R) 41%
As BruinKid noted in the comments to yesterday’s open thread, Rasmussen is showing better results for both DeVore and Fiorina than either PPIC or Field, neither of which had those candidates above 40%. So this poll might represent the best possible current performance of the GOP candidates, but is still within the margin of error.
It’s also worth noting that these numbers come before any real campaigning has begun. Right now it looks like the Fiorina/DeVore/Campbell numbers are what a “generic Republican” would get against Boxer. Californians don’t really know much about those three GOP candidates, whereas they know Boxer, and Boxer has to deal with the failure of the US Senate as an institution, which is depressing the poll numbers of most incumbent Democrats.
Still, unlike Harry Reid (for example) Boxer is maintaining a lead over her opponents. Once the campaign begins she will be able to better define those opponents, all of whom are variations on the right-wing theme that Californians have repeatedly rejected. And each has their own personal weaknesses, particularly Fiorina (incompetent) and DeVore (far-right wacko) but also Campbell (close to Arnold).
Boxer has known she’ll need to run a strong campaign to win re-election, and these poll numbers merely reinforce the expectation that this election will be close. Progressives and Democrats will have to work hard for Boxer, who deserves our support for another 6 years in the Senate. God knows we desperately need good people in that place.