Election 2010: California Senate
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and her Republican challenger Carly Fiorina are now essentially tied in California’s U.S. Senate race, moving the state from Leans Democratic to a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in California shows Boxer with 44% support, while Fiorina picks up 43% of the vote. Five percent (5%) like another candidate in the race, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

Earlier this month, Boxer held a five-point lead, 45% to 40%, and she was ahead 49% to 42% in July. Since February, Boxer’s support has ranged from 42% to 49%. In those same surveys, Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, has earned 38% to 43% of the vote.

When leaners are included in the new totals, Boxer moves ahead by five points – 49% to 44%. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate.

Early in any campaign, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant. Later in a campaign, the numbers with leaners matter more. After Labor Day, Rasmussen Reports will report the numbers with leaners as the primary indicators of the campaign.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of those who support Fiorina say they are already certain how they will vote in November. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Boxer’s supporters say the same.

Still, given California’s Democratic leanings and Boxer’s powers of incumbency, the race remains a tough one for Fiorina, a political newcomer.

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