The U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina remains close in California, with Fiorina gaining.
Boxer picked up 45 percent support, while Fiorina earned 40 percent, in the Aug. 3 Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of 750 likely voters shows. While 5 percent prefer a different candidate, 10 percent are undecided.
Less than a month ago, the longtime senator held a 49 percent to 42 percent lead over the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. Since February, Boxer’s support has ranged from 42 percent to 49 percent. In those same surveys, Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, has captured 38 percent to 43 percent of the vote.
The Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings rate California as a state that leans Democratic.
Voters see the contest as an ideological clash. Just over 60 percent view Boxer as a liberal politically, while 63 percent regard Fiorina as a conservative. This includes 36 percent who say Boxer is very liberal and 31 percent who view Fiorina as very conservative.
Likewise, 42 percent of California voters think Boxer’s views are mainstream, but 41 percent see them as extreme. Similarly, 40 percent label Fiorina's views as mainstream, but just 32 percent believe they are extreme.
Boxer, who was elected to the Senate in 1992, was re-elected in 2004 with 58 percent of the vote.
However, voter angst about the economy and the national political mood thrust Boxer, like many incumbent Democrats nationally, into a surprisingly tight race for re-election, Rasmussen says. But given the powers of incumbency and California’s Democratic leanings, Fiorina still faces a difficult challenge in trying to unseat her, the survey firm noted.
Both candidates earn equally strong support from members of their own party. They run neck-and-neck among voters not affiliated with either major political party.
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