The Battle for America 2010: Six Days from the Reckoning
Key Races: Governor, U.S. Senate
Sen. Barbara Boxer, locked in a tight race with Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, got a surprise this week: The world learned that she may have failed to disclose real estate holdings on her personal finance disclosure as required by law. The Foundation for Ethics in Public Service has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting an investigation. Boxer chairs the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. For now.
This week Obama showed up in the Bay Area for three fundraising events and then gallivanted out to a Los Angeles luncheon for Barbara Boxer and to stump for area Democrats at USC.
The USC event attracted a venerable who's who in California Democratic Party politics: the band Ozomatli, actor Jamie Fox, and candidates Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown. Obama told the mostly young, cheering thousands in attendance that "yes we can" in November. California Young Americans for Freedom showed up to protest the USC Obama event.
With less than two weeks to go until the election, polling shows the Senate run to have tightened a bit. Over at Rasmussen (October 22), Barbara Boxer has 48% of likely voters and Fiornia 46%. Three percent are in the undecided column. In other words, a tie and a tossup. RCP has similar results, showing that Fiorina has slowly chipped away at Boxer's lead.
Via Politico, a recent poll from Public Policy Polling (October 21) shows that Meg Whitman's $163 million gambit may not be paying off, as she garnered 36% to Jerry Brown's 44% among likely voters. A USC/Los Angeles Times poll taken October 13-20 shows Brown commanding a 13-point lead. However, other polls show the race much closer, and it's still in the "tossup" category over at RCP. Rasmussen also has it much closer: Brown at 48% and Whitman at 42%. The Whitman campaign released a video this week portraying Jerry Brown as a union puppet, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned for her in California.
In case you missed Bryan Preston's post at PJM, filmmaker David Zucker of Airplane and Naked Gun fame presents us, in my opinion, with the best ad this season.
''Call me Madam'':
David Zucker became a Republican after the 9/11 attacks. From Zucker's Big Government piece:
In the debate with Carly Fiorina, the subject was brought up, but Boxer was quite adept at deflecting it — and still without an apology. Let this video be my apology. Every time I see the public record listing my campaign contribution to Boxer — I wince. I mean, we all have things we’ve done in the past that we’re embarrassed about, but I’d rather have my being restricted to 100 yards away from elementary schools be public knowledge than that $5,000 Boxer campaign contribution.
Bi-polar, Golden State -- Voters in California are now souring on marijuana legalization (Proposition 19) and the global warming law postponement bill (Proposition 23).
Liberalism, Tolerance, Juan Williams-style -- Duane Hammond helped construct the stage that Obama spoke on during his USC appearance. His union fired him for wearing a sweatshirt with "George H.W. Bush" on the front and the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush on the back. His son is serving our country aboard the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush.
You Can't Handle the Truth -- New ad from John Dennis.
Ministry of Truth to Contact CBS? -- A 60 Minutes report shows California unemployment/underemployment at 22%.
It's Obvious Who the GOP Ad-blitz Villain Is -- Clue: her name rhymes with Belosi.
What Is a Top Tax-dodging American Company to Do? -- Well, hobnob with Obama, of course. Before heading to Los Angeles, Obama fundraised and mingled at Google executive Marissa Mayer's home, raising $30,000 per head. Google's recent fiscal results show that the company "outsourced" its foreign profits through Ireland, the Netherlands, and Bermuda. Google thus paid an effective 2.4% overseas tax rate. Google employees give 75% of their political contributions to the Democratic Party. (Thanks to WarPlanner for this tip.)
BBC in CD-47 -- The British Broadcasting Corporation introduces both candidates Loretta Sanchez and Van Tran to an international audience.
Gunny vs. Filner -- "Gunny" Nick Popaditch debates Democratic Representative Bob Filner for the first and only time. The two are facing off in the race for California's 51st Congressional District.
What's Good for the Goose -- Is good for the gander? Barbara Boxer used her seniority to purchase, and then profit from, IPOs in the past. Recall that Boxer has repeatedly hammered Carly Fiorina's effete, elitist, business credentials.
Go Ahead, Punk, Obama's Not Making My Day -- Dirty Harry, no fan of Obama?
Key Race: U.S. Senate
Too much money spent on the campaign and too many negative ads. That seems to be the mindset of voters in Connecticut about how outsider Linda McMahon has comported herself as GOP candidate for U.S. Senate against insider Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who has served as state attorney general.
Take the money. As Leanne Gendreau reports on NBC Connecticut, at the beginning of the campaign, McMahon announced she’d spend up to $50 million of her own money. The latest figures from the Federal Election Commission disclose that she has already spent $40 million of that. Meanwhile, Blumenthal has spent $4.4 million, with about $500,000 of that what he loaned to the campaign from his own funds.
Rather than perceiving the kind of investment McMahon is making as a sign of confidence in herself and a commitment to her mission of changing business as usual in Washington, D.C., voters are turned off. And not only in CT. They aren’t cottoning either to Meg Whitman’s $140 million spending to become governor of California. Probably no coincidence, the more the numbers come out about Whitman’s self-funded run, the more dirt gets dished about her sons. Meanwhile, her opponent Jerry Brown has a double-digit lead. As for money-bags McMahon, the Sulfolk University poll has Blumenthal at 57 percent and her at 39 percent
And that brings us to the other excess: negative advertising. Because of her war chest, McMahon has been flooding television with commercials. Increasingly they’ve become more and more negative. Voters are pushing back. The Sulfolk poll also found that when asked who ran the more negative campaign, 62 percent of likely voters said McMahon and only 20 percent said Blumenthal.
With all that negativity in the air, some of the smears about McMahon’s policies when she was head of the WWE are beginning to stick. Earlier, they were largely ignored. For example, as Marc Ambinder recently reports in the Atlantic, Blumenthal seems to be successfully body-slamming McMahon “for the way her company has treated its wrestlers (as independent contractors rather than full time employees, depriving them of many benefits), for allegations surrounding the company’s management of wrestlers’ steroid use, and for the premature deaths of many wrestlers alleged to have used performance-enhancing substances.”
In light of those kinds of accusations about the behavior of McMahon, most folks in CT are simply shrugging off her complaints that Blumenthal is, shock shock, aligning with Planned Parenthood to dig up photos of women and the WWE that are misogynistic.
However, the smart money is still approaching this race as too close to call. It is. McMahon has adept handlers and anything could happen before Election Day.