Former Representative Tom Campbell has produced two public polls in recent days with small leads over California Senator Barbara Boxer. One of Campbell’s primary opponents, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, also appears close to overtaking Boxer. Campbell is ahead in the GOP primary, but it is close.
If Senator Boxer’s seat is now in play, that makes eight Democratic Senate seats currently under water, according to published polls. That would take the Democrat majority in the upper house down to 51 seats if the election were held today. That’s the same number the Democrats held after their 2006 anti-Bush sweep. In other words all the gains made in the 2008 election, along with Senator Arlen Specter’s 2009 party switch, would be given back.
Scanning for two more Senate seats to give the GOP back the majority is hard. You have to pull in Barack Obama’s open seat in Illinois and defeat either Senator Patty Murray (Washington) or Russ Feingold (Wisconsin). With President Obama’s job approval at its current level of 47%, that seems unlikely. But if the president fell below 45% all bets would be off, or on.
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