Late Polls Show Boxer, Murray Ahead

Posted October 29, 2010 at 12:29pm

New polls out Friday showed two Democratic Senators with leads heading into the final weekend before the elections. California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Washington Sen. Patty Murray are in tight battles, but the new polling offers signs that the three-term Democrats could be just days from winning fourth terms.

A new Field Poll in California found Boxer ahead of Republican Carly Fiorina by 8 points in a race both parties are taking seriously. The poll, taken over a 13-day span, means Boxer has led by between 5 points and 9 points in five of the past six surveys.

“With each poll, she gathers just a little bit more support, and she’s certainly in the most comfortable position now than she’s been in the past six months,” Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The most recent poll of the race, a Rasmussen automated poll taken Wednesday, showed Boxer ahead by 3 points.

The Field Poll of 1,501 registered voters — 1,092 of whom have either already voted or are considered likely voters — was conducted Oct. 14-26 and had a 3.2-point margin of error.

The Fiorina campaign noted the poll was inconsistent with other recent surveys, but also used it as a tool to boost turnout.

“Recent public and private polling shows that California’s U.S. Senate race remains a tossup,” Fiorina deputy campaign manager Julie Soderlund said, “and today’s Field Poll, although taken some time ago and inconsistent with many other recently released surveys, underscores yet again that voter turnout and enthusiasm will be key to victory on Nov. 2.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has invested significant coordinated money in the race to boost Fiorina, and on Tuesday spent more than $2.8 million in independent expenditures on TV advertising.

The NRSC has also spent heavily in Washington, where Republican Dino Rossi is trying to unseat Murray. The NRSC has spent more than $3.6 million on IEs in Washington, which is about even with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s $3.7 million investment in the race.

A poll from the University of Washington found that Murray led Rossi 51 percent to 45 percent among likely voters. The poll, conducted for KCTS-TV and KPLU, carried a 4.3-point margin of error.

“Patty Murray appears to be ahead in this contest,” Washington pollster Matt Barreto told KPLU. “I think you’re gonna see that play out on election night.”

Barreto also noted that Democrats appear more enthusiastic to vote this year than tea partiers, something Washington Republicans said was not a credible assessment. The state party also highlighted a SurveyUSA poll released Thursday night that showed the two in a dead heat.

The automated poll found Murray and Rossi tied at 47 percent. It had a 3.8-point margin of error and was conducted for KING-5 TV.