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Democrats across America can hope that California is a harbinger of things to come. Because if there is one clearly discernible trend towards the Democrats in the 2010 midterms, it can be found in the Golden State.

Consider the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer and GOP challenger Carly Fiorina:

Boxer has pulled into a narrow lead in recent weeks, a fact confirmed even by Rasmussen and SurveyUSA, two pollsters that have been quite bullish on GOP prospects this cycle. In August, the four polls of the race split evenly between Boxer and her challenger. In September, Boxer has led in the last eight polls released on the contest, creeping into the 50s in this weekend's Los Angeles Times poll, which had her up by nine.

What's going on here? Well, it could be any combination of three things:

  1. Recalcitrant Democrats might finally be coming home. Tom Jensen at PPP noted when they released their poll (PDF file) this month that the enthusiasm gap in California is not as acute as they have seen it elsewhere. The gap between the 2008 vote margin (+25 Obama) and the current sample by PPP (+21 Obama) was pretty minimal.
  1. Boxer always seems to close well. It is an article of faith among California Democrats that Boxer does better on Election Day than the polls would seem to predict. I checked out that theorem back in June, and found that (in 2004, at least) that was precisely the case.
  1. Boxer has been on the air in the second half of the month with a brutally effective ad regarding Fiorina's tenure at HP:

Put all of those things together, and Boxer is in a significantly more healthy electoral position than she was a month ago.

Meanwhile, a similar resurgence seems to have resurrected California's Democratic gubernatorial nominee. Jerry Brown appeared to be on the ropes at the close of the summer. After Labor Day, however, he too has been in the midst of a bit of a comeback:

Brown's campaign has been hitting on themes similar to Boxer's effective parry at Fiorina. While his position is less comfortable at the moment than Boxer's, it is worth noting that there is a sharper change in the polls over the course of the past month.

Status of California Governor's race, September

Sept 1-15 (4 polls): Whitman +4.3%
Sept 15-27 (6 polls): Brown +2.5%

If Brown can forge a small lead, he might be able to hold it. One of the negative side effects for Whitman of her nine-figure "flood the zone" advertising strategy is that it will be harder for any new ads to have any great impact on the race. California voters have seen Meg Whitman ads now for 7 1/2 months. Diminishing returns has already set in, and that will make it harder to wrest any momentum away from Brown.

Both Fiorina and Whitman are still within striking distance, of course (especially Whitman). But there seems to be a turning of the tide, and there is a lot more reason for Democrats to feel optimism in the Golden State now than there was even three weeks ago.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:46 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let me speculate: (24+ / 0-)

    I think the fear that these nutcases could be taking over is overcoming the anger of the pitchfork crowd.

    This time this fear is quite healthy.

    Oh, make me wanna holler /And throw up both my hands--Marvin Gaye

    by Wildthumb on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:48:48 AM PDT

  •  Carly can do for Ca. what she did for HP (23+ / 0-)

    Gut it and send all the jobs to India.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:50:08 AM PDT

  •  I hope my fellow californians (21+ / 0-)

    are finally waking up.

    Down with Prop H8! Jerry Brown for CA_GOV 2010

    by GlowNZ on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:50:11 AM PDT

  •  everyone keep working! (21+ / 0-)

    don't believe the "Dems have already lost" message that the Rs are putting out there.

    We've still got 36 days!  Leave it all on the field!

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I don't want to take my country back. I want to take my country FORWARD.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:50:34 AM PDT

    •  Don't look now (9+ / 0-)

      but there remains a chance that the Dems hold all four of the biggest states' governorships come January: New York is a near lock for Andrew Cuomo; Brown in California and Alex Sink in Florida appear to have slight leads; and Bill White remains within striking distance of Rick Perry in Texas.

      That would do nicely (along with likely pickups in Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Hawaii) to offset sure gubernatorial losses in Tennessee, Kansas and Wyoming, and likely ones in Michigan and Iowa, and fairly likely ones in Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and New Mexico).

      I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

      by Superribbie on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GOTV! (5+ / 0-)

      We outnumber them, But only if we vote!

      Get everyone you know registered & voting. Tell them to absentee vote if they think going to the polls is too much trouble. Print up registration forms online from your Sec of State websites. Tell them it's important that they vote.

      I am not concerned about repubs now. I'm focused on getting Democrats to vote.

      GOTV bigtime!

      These are remarks that verge upon the personal. via James Wolcott

      by x on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:29:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Whoa! Gnarly, blew up the fp! (0+ / 0-)

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:51:05 AM PDT

  •   Fiorina and Whitman ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caelian, savvyspy
     ...I could see these 2 worthless buffoons winning elections in the Deep South or Alaska, but the fact they are not down by 20 points in California blows my mind.

    I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I become a messageboard genius. Stay thirsty, my friends. -(Message from The World's Most Interesting Kossack)

    by wyvern on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:51:29 AM PDT

  •  I'd say Boxer has a floor (11+ / 0-)

    and it's about 48%.

    Fiorina is toast unless all undecideds break her way. That just isn't going to happen.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:51:35 AM PDT

  •  Good news. (11+ / 0-)

    Just for fun, here's the email I sent to my kids at SFSU and UCSC this weekend...

    Hey guys...

    How and when to register to vote...
    I'm sure there are forms available on both campuses. It's probably most convenient to register to "vote by mail", then you can send in your ballot at your convenience rather than waiting in line on election day--you may have classes or exams or something.

    This year there are two statewide races that are important:  Jerry Brown (Democrat) vs Meg Whitman (R) for Governor and Barbara Boxer (Democrat) vs Carli Fiorina (R) for Senator. The correct choice in both cases is the Democrat. Hahaha. Of course I believe this but it's not my job to tell you how to vote.

    In California, which typically votes Democratic for national offices but occasionally Republican for Governor (the latest disaster being Arnold...), usually the Democrats win easily (though this year things seem to be closer). However it takes a 2/3 majority to pass any budget item in the state legislature. Because this is next to impossible, many important items end up getting "legislated" via direct initiative, i.e. via the Propositions on the ballot. These are often difficult to understand, purposely worded ambiguously etc yet are very important. usually has a good summary of the initiatives closer to the election date (Nov 2), though you will also see a lot of information on campus. Prop 23 is particularly important.

    OK... just a public service announcement from your Dad.. carry on

    PS-- it's particularly important that young people vote and, surprisingly, they tend not to, especially in non Presidential elections. W/o being a pain, you might consider encouraging at least one other person who seems like they might not bother, to go ahead and vote. This, believe it or not, is possibly more important than your actual vote.

    •  Please ask your kids (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, FiredUpInCA

      to spread the word.

      It's probably most convenient to register to "vote by mail", then you can send in your ballot at your convenience rather than waiting in line on election day--you may have classes or exams or something

      They can be an effective force multiplier without much effort.

      Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

      by RJDixon74135 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:58:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Deadline is Oct. 26 to register vote by mail (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        x, RJDixon74135

        Apply to Vote By Mail

        Registered voters may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot for an upcoming election at any time. If you apply by mail, your application must be received no later than 7 days before an election, otherwise you will need to apply in person to get a vote-by-mail ballot for that election.

        October 26 is the deadline to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot in CA.

    •  My daughter is a poli-sci student at Berkeley, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, fumie, optimusprime, Mokurai, coffejoe

      so she probably knows more about this election than I do, but I'll make sure she passes this information on to her friends. Thanks for the reminder.

      Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. J.K. Galbraith

      by tb92 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:00:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a direct result of (5+ / 0-)

    Democratic GOTV accelerations we have seen. I would not be surprised if Wisconsin is back within 5 and Colorado a tossup.

  •  Let's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    hope the trend continues and on Election night, there won't be any doubts as to Sen Boxer keeping her seat and Gov. Brown back in office.

  •  I must have been in the pitchfork crowd (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, fumie, Dustee, Lize in San Francisco

    because your conclusion certainly explains why my husband and I just sent a check across the country to Jerry Brown in our home state since we can't vote there anymore.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

    by RJDixon74135 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:53:46 AM PDT

  •  *giggles* with hope for the future (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, x, fumie, Mokurai, Lize in San Francisco

    "We in America do not have government by the majority, we have government by the majority who participate." --Thomas Jefferson

    by winter outhouse on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:55:06 AM PDT

  •  LOL. Gotta love the scale on the Y axis. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, fumie, optimusprime, Dustee

    You know you're in a tight race when the pollsters have to track progress on a Y axis that only spans 20%.  Hey, progress is progress, and it's good to see; especially with Brown. I really really want to see a Democrat beat a gazillionaire Republican after being outspent 100,000-to-1.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:55:32 AM PDT

    •  The rope-a-dope (0+ / 0-)

      seems to be working. September surprize!

      We just might be able to pull this out in CA. People might just be sick & tired of Repub gridlock

      Hopes for the other states to give the repubs a much needed thrashing. If they hate gov't so much, they should stay the hell outta DC & Gov's mansions.

      As for the rest of us, we need jobs.

      These are remarks that verge upon the personal. via James Wolcott

      by x on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:47:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reproductive rights is a major issue with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, JesseCW

    Californians.  Fiorina will take away reproductive rights and set women's issues back by 60 years.

    Californians are not ignorant.  They ca see the writing on the wall.

    "We in America do not have government by the majority, we have government by the majority who participate." --Thomas Jefferson

    by winter outhouse on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:57:12 AM PDT

  •  Carly can't win (4+ / 0-)

    I read in some poll that the majority of voters want a senator who is supportive of Obama which she sure isn't. As for Whitman you can't buy an election and then refuse to talk to voters or the press.
    I still think November will be bad but not the wave the experts are predicting.
    Seems like the democrats will do ok in the west. seems like the Midwest will be the part of the country we get slaughtered in.

  •  USE THIS: Torturer Yoo backs the R candidates! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Caelian, DaveW, fumie, GlowNZ, Mokurai

    Heard on KCBS 740 AM news (CBS network radio) this morning:

    Torture memo creator John Yoo spoke at a Tea Party rally in (not sure where, somewhere in area code 925 if I'm not mistaken) on Sunday.  

    When interviewed by the reporter for KCBS, he said that he supports the candidates Whitman, Fiorina, and (someone running for attorney general from San Diego if I recall correctly).

    This is news we can use!

    We need to run ads immediately, that say Torturer Yoo supports these candidates: what does that tell you about their morals?

    •  This should be used by every Dem, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, G2geek

      everywhere. This is who will run the country (again) if Reps get control of government. Anyone who has the stomach to share a political party with the Torturer in Chief is no moderate, no centrist, no decent human being. Running as a Republican these days means pro-torture. Period.

      BTW, here's confirmation of Yoo's appearance.

      Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

      by DaveW on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:14:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a country (5+ / 0-)

      where people can't name the members of SCOTUS, the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader, etc. etc., I doubt many even know who John Yoo is.

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:18:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wonderful! we can teach them. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We can teach them who John Yoo is.  

        For example with ads that direct the viewers how to stand in "stress positions" for the duration of the program they are watching.

        For example with graphic pictures from Iraq and elsewhere.

        For example with clips of past presidents, yes including Reagan, speaking out against torture.  

        Lots of ways to make Yoo so famous he has to carry three more pens in his pocket to sign all the autographs from people who come up to him with copies of 1984 and The Gulag Archipelago and ask him to sign.  

        That would make a damn good protest tactic the next time he speaks.  Bring your copy of Orwell or Solzhenitsyn and ask for his autograph.  

        This tactic brought to you by the Department of Gray Ops.

  •  I'm worried about CA-Prop 23 (7+ / 0-)

    Last I read, it was tied. Koch is funding it.

    Guts clean energy laws - Vote No.

    We're in an epic battle. - Elizabeth Warren

    by RhodaA on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:01:55 AM PDT

  •  Surprisingly, Fiorina is now short on cash (9+ / 0-)

    She blew nearly $10 million before June 30. Boxer waited, and had $11 mil cash on hand at that point and has raked in many millions more since with some high-priced fundraisers.

    Fiorina is now relying on outside groups like Karl Rove's buddies to tide her over until the last push in the final weeks. Her ads are now targeted to specifics areas rather than going state wide.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:02:40 AM PDT

  •  And, according to the LA Times, (11+ / 0-)

    the all important Latino vote simply isn't biting into GOP nom noms:

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:02:50 AM PDT

  •  Damn, that is one great ad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I rarely click on videos on DKos because I'm so frequently disappointed ("Seriously, dude, this is the greatest video evah") I wish I had clicked on this one much earlier.

    See the losers in the best bars, meet the winners in the dives -Neil Young

    by danoland on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:02:51 AM PDT

    •  Boxer's ad team is excellent (0+ / 0-)

      That is a really good ad isn't it? Such a relief from so many disappointments in the past, as you say. Brown's ads have also been good; he had one very punchy one narrated by Peter Coyote outlining all the accomplishments of his last term as governor that I thought was very effective. Now he's mostly running the one where he talks directly to the viewer in pretty straight-forward language; not as devastating as Boxer's ad but IMHO pretty effective. Not sure if it's related, but I am pretty sure I remember reading that Joe Trippi is working on Brown's campaign this year.

      Californians: The Courage Campaign is working for changing the 2/3 budget rule and for ending Prop 8. Go!

      by tmo on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 01:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I went to Jerry Brown's 1978 (5+ / 0-)

    California Governor election victory party at the Century Plaza Hotel.

    "What about the headless bodies, Governor?" --- Members of the press yelling after a fleeing Jan Brewer, 9/1/2010

    by Pangloss on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:02:57 AM PDT

  •  I hate political advertising, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, askew, Caelian, Dustee

    but Boxer's is a thing of beauty. I hope all Dems take note and do likewise.

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:03:49 AM PDT

    •  It helps when opponent is incredibly arrogant (1+ / 0-)

      To be fair, it really helps that Fiorina did those incredibly arrogant things and then said those incredibly arrogant statements about the incredibly arrogant things she did, AND it was all on tape. Not every politician gets handed a gift like that.

      Californians: The Courage Campaign is working for changing the 2/3 budget rule and for ending Prop 8. Go!

      by tmo on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 01:30:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the economy (but not entirely) (5+ / 0-)

    President Obama, whose national poll numbers have declined in the last year, remains popular in California, according to a new Times-USC poll.

    When respondents were asked "Do you approve or disapprove of the job being done by Barack Obama as president of the United States?" 54% of likely voters said they approved, and 40% said they disapproved. Among whites, the breakdown was 52%-41%; among Latinos, it was 64%-28%.

    Among likely voters, 60% said they had a generally favorable impression of the president.

    This view could play a role in the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican Carly Fiorina, according to a full analysis of the poll by Times political editor Cathleen Decker. Among likely voters, 56% wanted Obama to be supported, and only 34% wanted a senator who would be an opponent.

    One of Obama's supporters was Jill Rolen of Fresno County, who said she was irked by criticism of him.

    "I think he's doing what he said he was going to do," she said, but "everyone wants him to flip a coin and everything's going to be magically fixed."

    The California numbers are an interesting challenge to the prevailing narrative about the Democrats. Because of the poor economy, we have been told, the Democrats fate is sealed: they are going to lose big.

    The unemployment rate is 10% nationally but it is 12.4% in California. Still, more than half of California's likely voters approve of the President's job performance and are likely to send a Democrat to the Governor's mansion and the Senate.

    So in states where the unemployment rate is the same as or lower than California's, I don't know that it's a solid assumption that the higher the unemployment rate the worse Democrats will do.

    It all comes Joe Biden's favorite line of the moment: Don't compare me to the Almighty. Compare me to the alternative.

  •  The Boxer ads have been great. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm not saying that is the only reason she's strongly pulling ahead, but I sensed that all it would take was a few good TV ads stating the facts about Fiorina and her miserable record as a CEO to start giving Boxer a bigger lead.

    As an aside, I found the complete reversal in the Prop. 19 (marijuana legalization) numbers in the most recent Field poll very interesting. Neither side has been advertising or anything, yet to see an eleven-point swing in two months time is wild. There seems to be some big momentum on pro-Prop. 19 side.

  •  Polls seem to be improving across the board. (9+ / 0-)

    I think the Repugs peaked too soon, and voters are starting to wake up to what Repug rule would mean for the country.

  •  Goombah Doug Christie doesn't like it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if you're not kissing up to Meg Whitman.  We better watch out or he and his goons will make us swim with the fishes.

    Till we make the revolution, I hope your life sucks ass - Street Sweeper Social Club

    by Corneliusmingus on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:11:03 AM PDT

  •  Being ahead now means nothing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, Senor Unoball, coffejoe

    The only lead we need to have is on Election Day, and that is looking increasingly likely.

    Our position is tax cuts for the middle class, theirs is tax cuts for millionaires, Stupid.

    by Jimdotz on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:11:08 AM PDT

  •  The Governor's races (6+ / 0-)

    may be the first real sign of the collapse of the so-called "Republican Tsunami/All over but the Shouting" year of 2010. (No wonder they are AGAIN going at it with voter suppression in WI and TX--burning voting machines.)

    How can anyone, EVEN the waterheads in the the Lamestream Media, continue thinking (Ok, I'll give you you there, a freebie), writing and broadcasting its a Republican year looking at the governor's races.
    Brown is in position to TAKEAWAY the governor's seat in California, the largest state.
    White has Goodhair scared down his blow-dried roots that he's going to TAKEAWAY Texas (!) from the GOP, the 2nd largest state.
    Sink is laying her surname on Rick Scott to TAKEAWAY the 4th largest state of Florida.

    NY will be a Democratic hold, the 3rd largest state.
    PA has been looking bad but a few recent polls show Oronato beginning to make a race of it there to hold Pennsylvania (a top 10 state).
    CO will see the delightfully named Hickenlooper hold that state for the Democrats.

    MN is looking steadily better as another TAKEAWAY for the Democrats.
    HI is a TAKEAWAY for the Democrats.

    Look, I'll give you IL looks bad and so do OH and MI.

    But if there's a SWEEP to the GOP going on among the governors, I'm not seeing it outside the Midwest.


    "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

    by WineRev on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:11:54 AM PDT

  •  If Brown wins in CA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, theworksanddays, FiredUpInCA

    will the press spin it as the unpopular Republican governors policies? Doubt it.

    Vote 11.2.10 the penalty for refusing to participate in politics you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato

    by coffejoe on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:13:23 AM PDT

  •  How can the Cali GOP run idiots like Carly/Meg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how can they do that?  Don't they know anything?  After the Movie Star Terminator Governor, which has been a HUGE failure, why would the go to the billionaires?

    80 % of success is just showing up (Hawaii Five-O, CBS Monday@10, they show up)

    by Churchill on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:14:08 AM PDT

  •  About 15% of Republican Women (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, askew, fumie, Senor Unoball
    cross over to Sen. Boxer on election day because they're pro-choice.

    They're always undecided untill the last minute.

    I don't mean to encourage over-confidence, after all, Senator Boxer will lose if she doesn't get support.

    But, honestly, I've always considered this one to be in the bag.

    It's Jerry I'm worried about...and even then...he's being underestimated.

    "The financial system is broken. We can use that term in late 2008, and I think it's fair to still use the term unfortunately." Paul Volker, 9/23/2010

    by JesseCW on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:15:36 AM PDT

  •  I thought we were doomed ! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, Wildthumb

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:16:16 AM PDT

  •  GOP peaked about a month ago. That's (5+ / 0-)

    gonna be just a hair-dab too soon.

    As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

    by Wom Bat on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:16:21 AM PDT

    •  1 hair-dab (0+ / 0-)

      of Brylcream....which is the era they want to take us back to.
      Wonder Bread.
      Women doing laundry in dresses, pearls and nylons held up by garters.
      Children on swing sets built on top of asphalt.
      Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes.

      White, starched shirts w/narrow black ties (you know them at your front door as Mormon missionaries).

      The Brylcream Party! Back to the future.



      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:32:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  marijuana legalization (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23, Wildthumb, Idaho83702

    how is it polling?

  •  Prop 19 is likely to draw out younger voters (6+ / 0-)

    and this is likely to help Democrats

    If the vote on Proposition 19 ends up as close as most people expect, a large increase in turnout from motivated young supporters could make up that few percentage points that push it over the top. The question is: can marijuana legalization motivate a decent fraction of the many normally politically disengaged young adults to vote at the levels we saw when Obama and McCain were on the ballot? I think there are some signs that potentially point to yes, but we will find out this November.'s FDL, but the point remains valid.

    I see that (from another pooh-poohed source)that at least some California Dems have apparently seen the light, but refuse to commit to a public statement.

    Democratic lawmakers from California are hoping that a proposition to legalize marijuana on the November ballot will help drive progressive voter turnout, but most are so far unwilling to state publicly how they'll vote when the curtain closes. Three House Democrats, however, tell HuffPost that they'll be supporting the measure, which would authorize cities and counties to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

    Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:22:14 AM PDT

  •  Jerry Brown didn't start spending until now... (4+ / 0-)

    Oh Meg darling, we do appreciate the boost to our economy with your over 117 million dollars spent but sweetie you are an amateur.  Carly, thank you also for the millions spent, and you too are an amateur.

    Seasoned politicians know that the REAL election cycle ramps up after labor day, before then families are on vacation, enjoying their summers, etc.  Labor day marks the official back to school...back to work... mindset.  This is when Californians start thinking about the general election.

    Meg carpet bombed the state and now her ads are so last month... Carly too.

    Barbara Boxer is one of the most loved politicians in California.  HP was a huge employer here and now it isn't since Carly bare her hatchet.  Californians like access to their politicians.  Meg Whitman dodges the press, Jerry Brown embraces them.

    But again ladies, thanks for spending your millions....

    •  Queen Meg's approval started to drop in August... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... before Brown issued a single TV ad. His fans were wringing their hand all month and urging him to "start campaigning Jerry - please!".

      But his non-response made Whitman come off looking like a bully. I tell ya, the guy has nerves of steel.

      Politicians who promise LESS government only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:36:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prop 19 CA ~ young voters (6+ / 0-)

    PPP found 18-29 year olds backing Boxer and Brown by a nearly two-to-one margin in their respective races.

    It is also possible that having Proposition 19–the initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana–on the ballot is giving some younger Democratic-leaning surge voters a specific reason to vote in this non-presidential election in California, but not other states.


    The American people won't allow the GOP to inflict a tax increase on them to facilitate more tax relief for millionaires and billionaires. ~ David Axelrod

    by anyname on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:26:10 AM PDT

  •  The trajectory of those graphs is telling. (0+ / 0-)

    I just wish we were doing so well in the rest of the country.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:29:58 AM PDT

  •  If my mom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a New Jersey moderate Republican told me, without prompting, that she finds Meggy Warbucks' outlay in buying the seat horrifying, I imagine California voters mustn't be too impressed either!

  •  House (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikePhoenix, theworksanddays

    As the polls get more comfortable for Brown and Boxer,or Boxer and Brown, (sounds like a good title for a cop show on tv), there should be more consideration for this to improve the prospects of House candidates.
    That's the real battlefield.
    Yes, I'm still ticked off at the Dems, too, but any future progress is dependent on holding onto the House.
    Hopefully the enthusiasm gap is narrowing (or maybe it never really existed), and we'll get historic turnout.
    Turnout will be critical.

  •  Yawwnnnn...... (0+ / 0-)

    ".........there is a lot more reason for Democrats to feel optimism in the Golden State now than there was even three weeks ago."

    That statement of yours tells me all I need to know.  I never had any doubts so I was always optimistic.  As I am for the rest all Dems this cycle.

    All the time being realistic that midterms are always harder on the party in power.

    So I don't think anyone who would say such a thing as you did above could be called a true Dem supporter and/or I don't think you understand how politics work.

  •  I notice that both Carly and Meg peaked around (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    the later part of August. This may well be the trend around much of the nation. The more the Repubs talk about what they intend to do - the less support they have.

    We've had others in California in the past who have tried to "buy" the election with their personal fortunes. It has usually failed. Let's hope this will again be the case.

    "Democrats treat dogs like people and Republicans treat people like dogs."

    by Templar on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:59:13 AM PDT

  •  I disagree with the notion... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Senor Unoball

    ... that there aren't any new ads that can impact the race.

    The Clinton ad wasn't a good one for Brown.  It didn't have a lot of legs, but it's the type of thing that give people a bit of a pause, and Brown played it poorly.  Meg has the money to flood the field with something like that, and Brown has such a long career that you don't really know if there's another one that they're saving for late.  I'm a little doubtful, but who knows.  They may also try something they think is a winner (say rolling out something vintage where Saint Ronnie ripped Brown), but might not play as well as they think.

    On the other side, we probably need to keep in mind that Brown was saving up his resources for post-Labor Day.  He simply doesn't have the $100M+ that Meg is tossing into the election.  He saved it through the primary, then let Meg have the post primary.  If it didn't work, people would have ripped him for losing the election there by letting Meg jump to an uncontested lead.  But given a billionare trying to buy the election on the other side and Brown not having an Obama-style fundraising on the other side, I don't think he had a choice other than to play smart with his money.

    The other thing that Brown hasn't yet run into the ground is putting the Arnold/GOP anchor around Meg's neck.  Various people have pointed to how unpopular Arnold is right now: it's Bush / Gray Davis levels in this state.  A lot of the Meg's "Positive" Campaign ads are almost spot on for longstanding GOP "positive" talking points in trying to play to CA's large moderate voter base.  It's a key reason why people like Arnold and Duke and Wilson have won 6 of 8 Gov elections in the state since Brown left: in addition to the "tough on crime" and "no taxes" meme, these GOPers always talk the same points about loving education and the environment, and needing to run Sacramento like a Business.

    If Brown has up his sleave a late in the cycle ad (or serious of ads) tying Meg's Happy/Positive "Plan" to the same bullshit Arnold spun in his two campaigns, it's the type of thing that firewalls any late Meg spending.  Not a "game changer", but an final thought that plays to the strong feeling of people in the state that they don't want another four more years of Arnold.

    Brown really hasn't teed that concept up in a strong way yet.  He's spent a lot of his early ad time on trying to be Positive himself, and even taking a taxes position that makes me cringe but sadly is one that folks in the state need to take to get elected.  He's balanced his "positive" message with a few good swipes at Meg.  But there hasn't been a hammer yet.

    Anyway, I tend to think we'll see some ads coming up that each campaign thinks will have an impact.  Despite Meg's carpet bombing, I wouldn't bet against there being one or more that do.  But I think it might be Brown who has a better shot at having impactful ones if he's got a good campaign team.

  •  Two videos for the health of California... (0+ / 0-)

    Boxer's TKO of Fiorina in debate.

    Whitman getting an assist from Christie when the pressure is on.

    Don't Let The Republicans Break Your Government Again...Vote Democratic 2010. March on Washington D.C. 10-02-10.

    by reddbierd on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 10:16:05 AM PDT

  •  Babs, yes. Jerry, not so sure. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    Amonst "hair not on fire" California Democrats, there wasn't much doubt that Babs would bring it home.  Not only because of the "Boxer always closes strong" thing, but Boxer has a much stronger pull among the Democratic base than our senior Senator - the kind of pull that gets the Democratic base to the polls if we feel like she's in trouble. She may not be a lefty in the mold of Bernie Saunders or Barney Frank, but she's pretty darn liberal for what passes as liberal in the Senate.  And that counts for something amongst party activist.

    Jerry on the other hand...I wouldn't exactly start breaking out the champagne yet.  For those of us familiar with Jerry Brown beyond what they see or read in the media, there's always been cause for worry.  No one ever really took seriously the idea that Gavin Newsom and his hair gel had what it takes to win the Governor's race - at least, no one outside of his "base" amonst the Pac Heights/Marina high society circle.  And unfortunately, Villaraigosa never caught fire.  So, Brown it was by default.   But something has happened between the Gov. Brown/candidate for President/Mayor of Oakland years and today:  Jerry got old.  

    I don't mean that to out of bias or anything.  Its just that even by the tail end of his years in Oakland, for those who had actual personal interaction with him (and even more so since he's been AG), time has caught up with him and he has lost several steps.  By the end of his time in Oakland, his momentum had started to lag and the signs started appearing that he was leaning on his wife a little bit more than was probably appropriate. (Anne Gust, former general counsel of GAP & all-around smart cookie)  It was a trend that accelerated when he became AG - the joke amongst staff attorneys in the AG's office whenever a complicated legal matter comes up is "What does Anne think?"

    Tomorrow's debate is not a guaranteed slam-dunk.  It poses some nail-biting risk for the Brown campaign if Jerry gets dragged into the weeds or veers too far off script and has to think on his feet.  He could get exposed and with the short timeframe between now and the election, it could be fatal.  Hopefully, given that the race is looking a little more favorable to Brown, the campaign's strategy will be fight her to a draw and not press to hard for a win.

    Luckily, he has a political neophyte as an opponent - and one who comes with plenty of big, easy targets in her resume - infrequent voters, never held office before, trying to buy the Governor's office, talks out of both sides of her mouth, more radically conservative than she lets on, etc.

    Liberals drive me crazy. Unfortunately, conservatives are even worse.

    by goblue72 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 10:24:47 AM PDT

  •  Fiorina is loathsome, Boxer benefits. (0+ / 0-)

    For people who will vote no matter what and who aren't thrilled with their choices, Fiorina is unacceptable.  She must really be something because the more she is known, the further behind she falls.

  •  Dems also moving up in NV, KY (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Senor Unoball, Dustee

    Per Reader Support News.


    In Nevada, a Public Opinion Strategies Poll of registered voters shows Harry Reid leading Sharron Angle 45%-40%.


    The most interesting case is in Kentucky where Rand Paul has seen a 15 point lead evaporate in less than three weeks. During the first week of September, Paul lead state attorney general Jack Conway 55%-40%, in the Courier-Journal/WHAS 11 Bluegrass Poll, but that lead has complete vanished as Paul still leads 49%-47% with 4% undecided. The race is now within the margin of error, which means that it is a dead heat.

    "I am part of the networks and the networks are part of me... I link, therefore I am." William J. Mitchell.

    by rsmpdx on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 10:44:03 AM PDT

  •  Why is this a mystery? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Senor Unoball

    Fiorina and Whitman have been campaigning for months, one of them with a 9 figure war chest. Boxer and Brown started campaigning 3 weeks ago, and just started running ads a week or two ago.

    I said this in January and I'll say it again: the Dems are going to smoke the GOPers in CA this November, and people will be wondering why anybody ever thought the Republicans had a chance.

  •  We have terrible choices (0+ / 0-)

    once again in California.   The state is effectively bankrupt at this moment both financially and politically.   Democratic incumbents are hated here and will be swept out if we have  a wave election. Even the San Francisco chronicle can't endorse Boxer after her 2 decades of ineffectual leadership, though they won't endorse Fiorina either.   Not sure what will happen with Brown as it depends on who will be more pissed off and dispirited,  those who hate people trying to buy elections or those who hate aged recycled political hacks.

    •  I don't know anyone who hates the Dem incumbents (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe they're hated in your neck of the CA woods but I would say here in the SF Bay Area they're still pretty well loved. I wouldn't call Boxer's career "two decades of ineffective leadership"; IMHO she's been a pretty effective environmental leader in the Senate. The Chronicle editorial board is pretty right-wing so their lack of an endorsement doesn't mean squat. I wouldn't call Brown an aged recycled political hack either; yeah, he's a little on the old side but he's no hack. Sorry you don't like our candidates this year. I think they're pretty good. Maybe you should work for suitable primary candidates for the next time around.

      Californians: The Courage Campaign is working for changing the 2/3 budget rule and for ending Prop 8. Go!

      by tmo on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 01:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How will "we" mess it up? (0+ / 0-)

    It really can't be true that the D's are winning major races in California since the MSM all continue to say the Mid Term will be a Republican blow out proving the President is incompetent, disliked, etc.

    And the assumption is the D's will mess it up---again according to the MSM and even Rachel and Keith and other "friends".

    Is there any chance at all that "we" can, in fact, prove the 18 month onslaught by FOX-Limbaugh and greedy Wall Street and WSJ can be beaten.

    We are trying in Palin land, but the latest I am hearing is that the Internet chatter of the nutters is that President Obama will impose a real property tax on all property owners to pay for ObamaCare---no really---two normally sane, but Republican friends asked me what I thought of the tax---and they said it was all over the chat rooms they follow?

  •  Yahoo Posts GOP Lead..then NOT... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is pretty funny. Yahoo politics posted these big pictures of Carly and Meg writing about how these big corporate wigs were winning in the polls and then right below it, they had a story about how these same two peole were behind in the polls. Idiots.

  •  Jerry should talk about bills he would sign (0+ / 0-)

    The legislature has passed a number of bills in the past four years, one of which would have created a virtual public health option for Californians, that Schwarzenegger has vetoed. Jerry should consider an ad that mentions all the bills that Schwarzenegger vetoed, and that Whitman would almost certainly veto, but ones that he would sign if he were governor. Or maybe just circulate such a list among Democrats or amongst ourselves on DKos. California would be a much different place right now if we had had a Democratic governor for the past eight years; even if all Brown did was sign the good bills the legislature sends him it would be a godsend compared to what we've had. I can't believe people on DKos are even debating about who to support.

    Californians: The Courage Campaign is working for changing the 2/3 budget rule and for ending Prop 8. Go!

    by tmo on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 07:53:17 PM PDT

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