Is it the bad California economy that will propel Republican Carly Fiorina to victory over Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer this November?
You know Sen. Barbara Boxer is in political trouble when she’s campaigning in Fresno and it’s 104 degrees. For much of the past six years, we haven’t seen much of Boxer in these parts. When Valley residents think U.S. senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein usually comes to mind. She casts a long political shadow in the region, especially on water issues.
But on Monday and Tuesday, Fresno had Boxer’s attention. It’s not that the liberal Democrat expects to carry the conservative San Joaquin Valley in November, but she can’t let Republican opponent Carly Fiorina roll up huge margins here.
Giving up an extra few thousand votes in the Valley could be crucial in a tight statewide race. Boxer, the three-term senator, is in what the experts call a statistical tie with Fiorina in most public opinion polls. This year, Boxer knows every vote counts, even those outside of coastal California.
During her Fresno trip, Boxer touted the economic stimulus package, and how it’s helped Californians. That had the Fiorina campaign quickly countering that Fresno’s unemployment rate is at 16.2%, with 9,400 people having lost their jobs here since it was passed.
There undoubtedly would have been more job losses without the federal help, but that’s not an argument that Boxer wants to make. The economy is sinking her and other Democrats on the Nov. 2 ballot.