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Social media wrap: Carly Fiorina vs. Barbara Boxer, Marco Rubio vs. Charlie Crist -- Part 1


A week may be a long time in politics, but it’s an eternity on the social media networks.

So we’ve drilled down into five of the more contentious electoral races nationwide to look at how politicians are using Facebook and Twitter to launch attacks on their opponents outside the usual channels of attack ads and stump speeches.

Seemingly the messages are the same, it’s just the medium of delivery that’s changed. But how much mud can you sling in 140 characters?

Surprisingly, quite a lot.

California Senate: Fiorina vs. Boxer

The race pitting an incumbent Democratic senator, Barbara Boxer, against the second-most famous rich Republican woman to run for office in California, Carly Fiorina, has kept voters entertained with....

...a mix of well-aimed jabs and attempted roundhouses, with both sporadically hitting the mark. Latest polls show these two a whisker apart, with Fiorina catching Boxer after lagging in early polls and seemingly gaining momentum.

Carly Fiorina

Carly to Barbara Boxer: Debate me any time, any where:

Become a fan of Boxer Bites today to learn about the many, many ways Barbara Boxer has failed California! Tell your friends!

Did you know that today is the anniversary of Sen. Boxer's infamous "call me Senator" exchange. Commemorate today with a limited edition anniversary postcard here!

What will Boxer's excuse be today? Read about the past 2 days' excuses, and cast your predictions via replies now:

During her “Broken Promises Tour,” wonder if Boxer will make a stop in El Centro, the area with the highest unemployment rate in the U.S.-- 27.5.

It is time to hold Barbara Boxer accountable for her 28 failed years in Washington.

Barbara Boxer

RT @Fiorina_Facts Fiorina would have voted against unemployment bill #p2 #casen

‎"Every time we have a tragedy where someone takes a life and goes crazy with any kind of weapon, the cry goes up for more laws, more infringement," Fiorina said. But most shootings involve individual circumstances that would not be prevented by gun laws, Fiorina said.

 Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina: Two of a kind. Watch the new video and help run the ad online #p2 #casen

Fiorina’s HP Mishaps Prompt Technology Executives to Back Boxer #p2 #casen

‎"Feinstein is not amused by these accolades from Fiorina."

AP has called the race for Fiorina. OK- let's go win this thing. #casen #p2

Florida Senate: Rubio vs. Crist

Fewer more vitriolic campaigns have captured the nation’s attention than the one to fill retiring Mel Martinez’s Senate seat, with Republican newcomer and "tea party" pick Marco Rubio waging a ding-dong battle against Gov. Charlie Crist  that resulted in Crist dropping out as a GOP candidate and running against Rubio as an Independent.  Kendrick Meek is the Democrats’ choice (but he mainly posts inspiring quotations on his pages, so we’ll pass over that), but  we’re focusing on Rubio and Crist, who are neck-and-neck in recent polls and going for the jugular on the social networks.

Marco Rubio

Charlie Crist won't tell Florida voters who he will vote with if elected to the United States Senate, but his liberal friends already know.

Just wanted to make sure you saw this morning’s St. Petersburg Times headline: “Trial lawyers, union and Democratic loyalists are helping fund Crist in U.S. Senate race.”

Yesterday, Charlie Crist removed the “pro-life/family” issue page of his website and any reference to his being pro-life. It's just another attempt to hide his position in order to win an election. Do we want someone who doesn't know where he stands to represent us in the U.S. Senate?

Charlie Crist said he now supports repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” adding yet another issue to Crist’s impressive list of reversed positions. This change comes stunningly just three days after telling Florida reporters he saw no need to change the policy. Crist has made it clear that he will say-do-be anything to try to win an election. But we can make it clear to him, help Florida elect someone who stands on principles, not pandering.   

Charlie Crist

Earmark Rubio secured $250 mil in pork barrel spending, I vow not to accept earmarks in 112th Congress #sayfie #gop #fb

Facts Show Speaker Rubio Fiscally Irresponsible, Not Conservative:

Rubio Camp Prefers Baseless Rumors Over Talking About His Record

The REAL Speaker Rubio: Supported A Carbon Tax, Would Have Accepted Stimulus

Gov. Crist Releases 10 Years Of Tax Returns, Will Speaker Rubio Do The Same?

It’s Been 3 Weeks and Marco Rubio Still Cannot Account for His Spending

DEBATE: Rubio supported in-state tuition for illegals and blocked bills to crack down on illegal immigrants

Illinois Senate: Giannoulias vs. Kirk

Republican Rep. Mark Kirk is squaring off against  Democratic challenger Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer, for Illinois’ open Senate seat  once  held by President Obama. Recent polls show the candidates barely a point apart and, typically of Illinois politics, this one has turned into a knock-em-down bare-knuckle brawl  often duked out over the social networks.

Alexi Giannoulias 

"Can I get 'Teaching' for $100, Alexi?" Play our latest game: "Who Is Mark Kirk?" #ilsen #p2

In tough new ad, Giannoulias is making sure no one forgets Kirk's exaggeration problem... #ilsen #p2

VIDEO: Mark Kirk flip-flopping on energy reform, Alexi Giannoulias & the Sierra Club on a big endorsement #p2

WaPo: Mark Kirk admits "to inaccurately claiming he received the U.S. Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year award"

Mark Kirk voted for the Bush corporate tax loopholes that reward companies that ship American jobs overseas. Today...

Will Kirk state publicly the characteristics he looks for in a SCOTUS nominee, which he declined to do during Sotomayor confirmation? #ilsen

Mark Kirk

If @Alexi4Illinois donated his $30,000 refund to charity wouldn't he be eligible for a tax write-off in 2010? #ilsen #chicago #illinois

Why did @Alexi4Illinois wait until the Friday afternoon before the Fourth of July to release his tax information? #ilsen #chicago #illinois

Would you trust Alexi Giannoulias with YOUR money? #ilsen #ilgop #tcot #sgp #chicago #il #illinois

Kirk Campaign Expresses Serious Concern over Report that Giannoulias Event Host Intimidated Young Woman after Fundraiser

Giannoulias’ “Top Aide” Lobbied For BP #ilsen #ilgop #chicago #il #illinois #tcot #sgp

Alexi Giannoulias Falsely Claims to be on the Board of the Community Bankers Assn. of Illinois #ilsen #chicago

Medal of Honor Recipient Allen Lynch on Mark Kirk's Military Service #ilsen #ilgop #chicago #il #illinois

(Part II of this series is posted here)

-- Craig Howie

Amid further faceoffs and throwdowns, click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot or @craighowieLAT. Our Facebook Like page is over here. Also available on Kindle now with a two-week free trial.

Photos: Top row from left: Charlie Crist, Alexi Giannoulias, Mark Kirk. 2nd row: Harry Reid, Marco Rubio, Meg Whitman, Jerry Brown.  Bottom: Sharron Angle, Carly Fiorina, Barbara Boxer.  Credits: AP / Reuters / Getty Images / EPA

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I'm embarrassed everytime someone asks me who the other Senator is besides Feinstein, and with a my eyes downturned I answer apologetically, Barbara Boxer; to which the typical response is "Oh," as though I just mentioned diarrhea. What a refreshing change it would be to mention Carly instead - like a breath of fresh air, instead know...diarrhea.

As a 50 year Californian, I‘m voting for Senator Boxer. She has worked tirelessly in getting the right things done for the people of California and America. She has earned my respect and deserves re-election. Better an experienced, capable, knowledgeable and highly effective fighter than a failed CEO with zero experience in politics. I’ve known Senator Barbara Boxer for several years and have followed her policies and legislative actions closely. As for Carly Fiorina, she has never held an elective office, and frankly, was not an effective CEO of HP as evidenced by its stock value during her controversial tenure. Barbara Boxer is well informed, respectful, committed, experienced and highly effective. Boxer is our best choice for Senator of California, and the best Senator for Americans.


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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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