Is Fiorina Really In The Lead?

That’s what a new SurveyUSA poll would have us believe:

Fiorina: 47

Boxer: 42

Undecided: 11

I’m not sure about this. Fiorina in the lead? Really? Sure, she’s been barnstorming the state lately while Boxer has been in Congress doing things like saving teachers’ jobs against Fiorina’s will, but since neither campaign has really done much on TV lately, I find Fiorina’s sudden, if slight, lead to be curious.

Boxer leads Fiorina among moderates, 45-42, but trains among independents, 49-32. That makes me scratch my head wondering how exactly people are self-identifying, especially since “moderates” make up 46% of likely voters according to SUSA with independents making up 21%.

To me this suggests it’s time to start ramping up on Fiorina and educating Californians about what a dangerous right-wing lunatic she is. Dan Morain has a good article in today’s Sacramento Bee comparing the two on judicial nominations and showing how she would vote in lockstep with Mitch McConnell and the other Senate Republicans to block Obama’s nominees, from Goodwin Liu to Elena Kagan.

Another curious thing about the SUSA poll is that Fiorina is doing better than Meg Whitman. Here’s the numbers from the governor’s race:

Whitman: 44

Brown: 43

Undecided: 13

Again, it’s just amazing to me that after spending $100 million on a massive TV ad blitz that began way back in February during the Winter Olympics, the best Whitman can manage is a tie with Jerry Brown, who has been reading philosophy in his Oakland loft (while putting out a very good jobs plan) and hoarding his money until Labor Day.

Whitman does have an alarming lead among voters under 35, 44-39. This suggests to me that the Brown campaign would do well to step up its outreach to this traditionally Democratic and progressive generation, who has no memory of Jerry Brown’s terms as governor.

SUSA also polled two other November 2010 races in California, including Lieutenant Governor:

Newsom: 43

Maldonado: 42

Undecided: 15

Last month’s Field Poll gave Newsom a 9-point lead, so it’s unclear which polling outfit has this one right – though I’ll go with Field for now, given their track record in California.

The other race they polled was Prop 19:

Yes: 50

No: 40

Undecided: 10

The crosstabs here are pretty interesting. They have voters 65 and older supporting Prop 19 45-43, and Gen X voters (ages 35-49) backing it 57-35, despite the fact that the right-leaning Gen X tends to be one of the least supportive age cohorts when it comes to marijuana legalization.

Still, I’m hopeful that on Prop 19 the SUSA poll is right. On the other races, it shows that progressives have our work cut out for us in November 2010 in California. In a close election, progressive action can be what helps determine the outcome, and we can make the difference between letting wealthy right-wingers take over our state and giving us an opportunity to implement a progressive agenda.

3 thoughts on “Is Fiorina Really In The Lead?”

  1. would pass and he boasted about them (they were the only polls that really said so.  Meanwhile, there was lots of grassroots activism to make sure voters got to the polls).  

  2. SUSA seems to be overweighted for Republicans and probably only using Independents who voted in June. That makes for a strange skew- worth noting. More Dems than Reps actually voted in the June Primary – 88K more in the Senate race.

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