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Three days before primary, Fiorina dialing in on Boxer

A confident Carly Fiorina rallied campaign troops Saturday in her bid for U.S. Senate, thanking them for bypassing the beautiful weather in Sacramento to phone-bank for her.

“With your help, we’ll be having a hell of a party on Tuesday night,” Fiorina said, flashing two thumbs up to the crowd of roughly 30 volunteers gathered at a recreation center in a leafy Sacramento suburb.

But, for the most part, Fiorina looked beyond the June 8 primary to her would-be general election opponent, Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer. “Her policies are part of what’s driving this state into bankruptcy,” the former Hewlett-Packard chief said.

A new Field Poll released Saturday showed Fiorina besting her closest GOP rival, former congressman Tom Campbell, by 15 percentage points. When a TV reporter asked Fiorina to comment on “edging out” Campbell, Fiorina replied, “Honestly, the poll shows me doing more than edging out Tom Campbell.”

Fiorina spent more than an hour gabbing with her phone-bankers, alternately hugging, shaking hands with and grabbing cellphones from dialers who had caught a Fiorina supporter on the line.

“She’ll talk to anybody,” said Brandon Ghetia, a 26-year old phone-banker who met Fiorina at a "tea party" rally a week ago. “Barbara Boxer went to San Francisco. She goes to Los Angeles, but I’ve never seen her here,” Ghetia said of Gold River, a suburban community nestled between the American River and Highway 50.

Boxer –- and Fiorina’s perceived ability to beat her -– was chief on the minds of many in attendance. “I’ve been waiting a long time for a candidate that could beat Barbara Boxer,” Lani Hahn said in between making calls on a grassy patch outside the rec center.

“She’s awesome,” said Robert Laurie, Fiorina’s Northern California volunteer chairman. “This is my gift to help the state of California,” Laurie said of phone-banking Saturday, which is also his 64th birthday.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Gold River

 
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