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New poll: Now, signs of real vulnerability for California's Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer

California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer

So, is California's brittle Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer about to become the next Harry Reid? Which is to say, embattled at home.

As Reid worked the wallets of San Francisco on Presidents' Day to raise money for his endangered seat in Nevada, some stunning new Rasmussen Reports poll out today makes a compelling point:

For the second straight month the three-term senator is unable to break the 50% mark against any potential Republican opponents, the historical measuring mark of vulnerability for an incumbent nine months before an election.

For a Democrat in a Democrat state that gave Barack Obama 61% of its votes in 2008 (and still likes him more than many other places) to be mired in the mid-40's is a sign of real trouble. This is especially so given the fact that disgruntled voters gave Democrats control of the House, Senate and White House in 2008, expecting something to....

...happen beyond another congressional payraise. Voters appear to be looking at a the stubborn ineffectiveness of the much-vaunted economic stimulation bill, continued high unemployment and waning Obama approval. It's not like they don't know Boxer after all her years in the state's public life. To help with the warmth of money, Boxer has Al Gore's headline help fundraising.

Yes, sure, incumbents retain huge powers and money advantages over challengers and it's a long time until November, when the five-term ex-representative Boxer will turn 70. But nationally, indications are growing that 2010 could be a tidal wave election beyond the usual midterm swing with voters believing in a different kind of change to believe in.

Is it possible they could dump out a Democrat even in California?

Rasmussen found Boxer barely leading Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, 46-42, the same margin as January but down from a 10-point lead in September. Boxer beats former congressman Tom Campbell by the same four-point margin, 45-41, the same as in January when he jumped into the race, and is ahead of state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore by only five points, 47-42, down from her November lead of 10 points and January's 46-40 spread.

Rasmussen interprets the numbers as showing the race right now is much more about the outspoken Boxer than any of her challengers or what they are doing/saying.

One particularly ominous sign for the incumbent: One out of four California voters has a very favorable opinion of Boxer. But one out of three has a very unfavorable opinion.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (126)

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As they say, "Only in California" can people be so dumb.

Has it never occurred to you that you have ruined your own state?

This woman is one of your champions and you would dump her too?

OMG. You people just "don't get it" do you?

Maybe it's because you spend too much time in your cars listening to RUSH.

Feinstein, Boxer, Murray & Cantwell are not proof that women don't belong in politics.

Take the mench from Brooklyn down, and take her down hard. Al D.

There are no safe seats for Democrats this year. There is a very strong anti-encumbent mood in the whole country. Add to this an anti-democrat sentiment and an even stronger anti-leftist sentiment. This is going to be a very bloody year for Democrats and very few will survive it. Not only is Barbara Boxer in trouble but November is still a long way off and by then we could be talking about how Nancy Pelosi is in trouble.

Most criticisms of Democrats these days, even in these comments, hang on a critique of style, "We dont' like them Washington politicians..." "How dare she call herself a Senator..." Most critics of Boxer can't cite a single legislative failure of hers, but only retreat to "She supports Obama, and he's evil." This is the problem with tea baggers, so-called patriots, and the rabble: they're angry, don't have the ability to recognize why, and so lash out at the nearest whipping boy, in this case, Boxer. Here's video of tea baggers in action:

You think these intellectual giants--and the politicians they support--are going to lead this country anywhere but further down?

If you Cali residents have any brains at all , you'll vote her out of office. I know that's tough because 50 % of you are on the state dole thanks to her........

Sen Boxer is the epitome of what is wrong with CA. An Arrogant Elite radical left winger willing to spend trillions of dollars on corrupt special interests and run up unimaginable debt, because surely there won't be any negative impact if the corrupt spending is for the right causes like the NEA, Public Unions, ACORN etc etc!!. I would like to think that CA, once the most innovative richest state in the nation, could be saved, but I actually think its too far gone. The arrogant liberal Elites, and those who feed off of their corruption, appear to be in firm control. The best advice you can give to a working American is get out while you can. If there was really any chance to save CA a politician like Sen Boxer would be 25 points behind, but she still leads. That pretty much tells you what's going on in CA!!!!!

Wow. I guess since the comments here have been moderated to be resoundingly anti-Boxer, that meas the LA Times isn't going to endorse her?

The GNP has turned up, layoffs have almost ceased, the US is held in higher esteem all over the world, and Barbara has helped make it so. Bravo, Barbara!

I will vote for anyone who will put her out of office.


Some other decent democratic candidate could also get my vote, but not her or Feinstein ever again.

In this cycle, if the public is truly pushing back against politicians' arrogance, then Barbara "Call Me SENATOR!" Boxer is vulnerable. She's a poster-child for unrestrained snottiness. Californians have an opportunity to inform Babs that she wasn't sent to Congress to stroke her own ego and vanity. Adios!

One of the best things that could happen to CA is for Boxer to be booted out. Liberal policies are what has put our fine state on this ruinous course, Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi et al have led the decline. Out with the old blood.

If Obama's "hope and change" results in Senator Ma'am's involuntary retirement, he has brought hope in which I can believe.

I am not sure if any other candidate is a better than Boxer, but I am willing to give that a try since I had not witnessed any good thing that Boxer did for the stae or the country for that matter. Boxer and Pelosi must go.

The country is so dysfunctional with the partisan and pelosi is exemplification of that extreme of the partisan.

All the moderate people in congress are handcuffed by this extreme of partisan on both side of the isle.

@World Traveler...
Why lie? You are not a democrat. You are clearly a lying republican't (oh, wait, that's redundant). There's no shame in admitting you side with the party of no.

Go look in the mirror and admit that you are a member of the obstructionist GOP.

Change, change and change, the outcry of Californians. We need to change the "Traditional Politicians" to overhaul Congress.The incumbent politicians led the U.S. to our economic mess. They didn't do their duties & jobs for the electorate. Instead, working to protect their position and party.Partisanship.... and lack of constructive results.
Do you think our elected officials are working for the people good? They're always smart to find ways to be elected.
But the upcoming election will remind them of "The People Power" to unseat them."The Electorate Wrath is Coming".

When the now famous "Call me Senator" arrogance is replayed over and over as she dressed down the General this incumbent will fall. Champion of the Cap and Tax as the leader of the man made global warming farce admits the earth has not warmed since 1995 at least will hang around this candidate for retirement.

It is time for California to retake the lead in a sound economy and Ms. Boxer is like an anchor around our necks.

The president was elected to be an anti-Bush and all he did was to become another Bush. If the president can't see why democrats are up the crek without a padlle, then he is not as intelligent as he appears. Every thing he promised, he put into a trash can. From the government option to we don't torture to no one is above the law. From gulags to black boxes, from official kidnappings to torturing prisoners to death. From change and hope to business as usual. In other words, he became the anti-thesis of candidate Obama. He became his worst enemy and politicians wonder why democrats are in the brink of losing the majority and God only knows how long it might take to be a majority again. An honest politcian elected for being against Bush and his failed policies and then becoming a clone Bush means that Geraldine Ferraro was right: If he would have been white, he would still be at the departing gate. Mr Obama, you and some of the blue dog democrats that are scared to death of the party of no shouldn't have the chance to ruin more this country. We voted for hope and change, not more of the same. When the democrats go back to being minority, you can only blame yourself and the blue dogs for it. You failed miserably. Hope and change mean that old business was dead, that what we wanted was a new departure from war crimes and corruption galore. You reap what you sowed. I don't see why there is surprise in the fate of democrats now.

But she worked so HARD to to be a senator. Just ask the generals in the army.It is time for the voters in CA to show they are actually not comatose, and throw this arrogant schmuck out.

Let's see, the Republicans waste trillions on a stupid war, weaken regulations on big polluters, and mismanage the economy to the point of depression, but apparently less than 12 months later, the genius citizens on this blog want the Republican screw-ups back in the drivers' seat.

Boxer, Feinstein and Hartman are shills for Israel. That is their top priority and the rest is window dressing.

Get. her. out. Get. her. out. Get. her. out.

I smell blood.

Will drive to California (from Mi) to help volunteer for her political opponent...whoever he/she may be if necessary. I will.
She must go. Boxer must go.

We have our work cut out for us but let's get this train rolling. B.B. has the money, we know that. And, of course, she has certain connections and special interest at her disposal....but we have about eight months, truth and god knows the frustration, determination and resolve more impressive and worthy than all the jewelry, gems, mirth, gold, apartment rentals, fancy arrogant educations, or Miss Austrian Heidi's dimples.

We will confound those arrogant know everythings. We will confound.

Remember though, calling her a hag won't work. We gotta be smart here and get everything right. We can not blow this.

We can not blow this!!! We got one last chance here, C. A. L. I. F. O. R. N. I. A. . .

Resolve to do something.

Forget Brown.

For Boxer (((((((((((((((((((((( M U S T G O )))))))))))))))))).

Google the California Republican Party (hold your nose if you must), contact them, ask them what you might be able to do to help...but do something. I can't expect others to do all the work on this one. This one, I'm in.

Now let's get going.

Well ma'am...looks like your time is up!

If you vote for Boxer, I will be the first to say I told you so. Wake up and kick her out. She's out of touch with us and much too radical. She wants to berry us in red tape and higher taxes with her fabulist ideas on cap and trade (tax).Wake up now or risk her agenda.

CA has become a welfare state and I seriously doubt that the welfare recipients will vote for change. Just keep those checks and benefits coming.

As a former democrat, I hope this hag is gone come November. It took Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and the Chicago thugs Obama took to DC to show me how stupid I was for being a liberal. Now even the Global Warming thing proves to be a total lie. No wonder my conservatives friends called me one of the sheeple and begged me not to vote if I could not think for myself.

No more democrats for me. I am now a proud independent. Republicans like Schwartzenneger and McCain watch out, I hate your type too!

I now can think for myself.

Seventy is too old!! I am not far behind & still working fulltime, but these pols seem to think the office means lifetime employment. Lautenberg fell at home & reports said he is 86. enough! These elders need to step aside or be pushed aside. It is time for new blood. Boxer is as radical as Pelosi & hewr arrogance is atrocious. that outbudsrst against the office who called her ma'am was the last straw.

I am concerned about Fiorina's possible breast CA relapse, but CA needs major changes.

I grew up in California and it was due to crooks like Boxer/Brown that I got the Heck out of there in ’01. Believe me when I tell you that it is largely these types of politicians that keep California jokes alive. They only serve themselves, Al Gore, insurance lawyers, movie producers and Obama. While your at it, please oust Pelosi, Feinstein, Waxman and Shwartze-goober.

How far California has fallen from being on the cutting edge of Western/Asian Rim Civilization to electing this Egotistical Bitch to represent them in the Halls of Government.
Obama, much as I dislike him and his policies, at least had some academic credentials to his credit, Boxer is a YENTA, PURE AND SIMPLE. AS BOXER GOES SO GOES FINESTEIN, HOPEFULLY

This year's elections are gearing up to be votes against incumbents rather than votes for another candidate. Some would make the very valid argument that it would be hard to get any worse. But to vote in people with very limited experience catering to a few select political contributors or billionaires with their own beef (anyone remember Arnold?)would be not only be worse, it will devastate what little of an economy we have left. Be careful, California, you might get what you ask for.

Get rid of this do nothing woman!

Senator Boxer - The illegal alien, welfare bum, loud mouth idiot from Califormia in trouble?
A glimmer of hope for California appears - Really folks - Boxer is a total piece of crap with no redeeming qualities.
How did this "garbage" ever get in office in the first place?

Carly Fiorina is a fighter as proven by her battle against a life threatening illness. She has defeated that and her health and vigor prove her wellness beyond any doubt. Her business and people skills are top notch and her campaign against Boxer will be successful. In Carly the common person will have a seat at the table as she pushes California's economic rebound. In contrast to a distant Boxer this leader will be a hands on Senator working for everyone in California. Her experience and expertise forecast many new jobs and economic growth for all.

Dr. Alan Phillips

This gun-grabbing, disrespectful of the military, leftist, marxist socialist scubmag needs to go, NOW!!

Then, perhaps, the road of recovery for the People's Democommunist Republik of Kalifornia (PDRK) will begin.

BUT, do not let it stop at her.....Get rid of the hag not-so fine Finestein, and Nostrilitus Waxman, and the rest of the rogues gallery of leftists from the land of fruits and nuts. Then, maybe, the rest of the USA east of the Mojave and Sierra Nevada will accept that PDRK is on the road to recovery.

The only ticket I want for Boxer is her one way ticket out of the nations capitol with her baggage following closely behind. Her loss at the polls would be California's gain.

Boxer should have been gone long ago.
Repugnant though she may be, that is not the reason for her demise.
It is her sense of entitlement, her arrogance, her failure to comprehend.
It is good that all of them get shaken up.
Once out she can hide.

Boxer has to go along with Nasty Pelosi, Prince Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, Chuck Schummer Diane Frankenstein & all incompetant incumbants. They have all earned a departure from our Congress.

The GOP has given Boxer the gift of far-right IDIOTS to run against her over and over and over again thru the years.

Wonder why Boxer kept getting re-elected.

I don't understand how Mrs. Boxer (that's right--I didn't call you Senator--get over it) has 50% approval. Our state is broke--Boxer can't even support legislation to end the drought in the central valley. She continually supports bills that kill agriculture, manufacturing, and petroleum based jobs--she chooses instead to support extremist environmentalists who would see us all go back to being a hunter gatherer society. Why do people support her? Because shes pro-choice and pro-gay "marriage?" Put the social issues aside people--we need jobs--we need someone in that office, be they Democrat or Republican, who will support private industry job creation and make our state "golden" again. If you want to live in a Socialist utopia move to Cuba--I hear the Weather is great. I'm leaning to Carly Fiorina--I think the other Republican candidate (DeVore) is just too entrenched in social politics and may be unelectable. Tom Campbell is a career politician--he'll just be move of the same. Please don't vote for boxer just because she has (D) next to her name.

Maybe, after she loses the election, she can help out the Navy by finding there missing Indian Ocean Fleet.

I'm sorry, but if you have ever heard Barbara Boxer speak you are astounded by her stupidity. No offense, but it is hard to believe that she passed the California Bar Exam (one of the hardest in the country if not the hardest). I am not referring to her politics, which I abhor. I am referring to her just unbelievable stupidity. She says absolutely outrageous things and has no business in the United States Senate.

Taxifornia isn't that leftist as a whole. Prop 187 passed, Prop 209 Passed, Prop 8 passed. Democrat Davis Recalled. Arnie elected.
If the President has term limits, why not the other branches?
Elect Magic Johnson, he's a good businessman.

NO MORE WELFARE STATE! Boxer is OUT! The rest to follow

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore transcends any political party. He's pro-America, pro-California, and pro-Constitution. A seasoned businessman, retired military officer, and a strong, committed family man. As an encore, he's highly intelligent, too. No choice for U.S. Senate could be clearer.

"Call me Senator"....Boxer. No Thanks!
She's history!!

Remember how this hag spoke to a General? She should be voted out for that alone. See ya barb, I mean Mrs. Boxer, that's a title YOU worked to hard to get. Hard at doing the wrong thing by the people

Hope this Out Of Touch Pc Loser gets throne out on her ear!Fienstien too!They have done NOTHING for STATE!

As a Republican Californian I can assure you I'd never vote for Boxer and will work against her in the up coming election. She is a useless, ignorant individual who should never have been sent back to the Senate the second time after her pathetic first term. Feinstein must go next. I wish the left wing fanatics in San Francisco would get their heads out of the sand (being nice here) and dump Pelosi. What a vile, insane, and radical socialistic individual she is. Hopefully those in LA will also clean house, as well as those in Orange County - heavy (D) voters. San Diego is holding its own and not as pathetic, but we still have a few lefties. Only the ignorant or socialist vote Dim (sic) in this day and age. Time to clean them out of DC and hope we are able to salvage this country while there is still time. Dump all career politicians American. Set term limits and take away their golden parachute (retirement and medical). Let them work for a living instead of taking bribes and pushing money to family and friends via their positions in DC. My former (R) Rep. was Cunningham and thank God he is now in prison, as Pelosi should be.

Ladies and Gentleman,

Getting her out is a good start but it may be to late

to save this republic from the One World Government


I never quite understood why she objected to being called "Ma'am" which is a sign of respect. Is she ashamed of being female?

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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