Fiorina Leads Boxer by 5 in Latest Poll

Intriguing:  CBS 5 Poll: Fiorina Widens Lead Over Boxer

The CBS 5 poll, conducted by the research firm SurveyUSA, showed Fiorina edging Boxer 47 percent to 42 percent, compared to a CBS 5 poll one month ago showing Fiorina over Boxer 47 to 45 percent.

The poll has the governor’s race as a one-point race with Whitman over Brown.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. A five point lead in a poll with a 4.1 MoE ? Not sure what to make of that. And, it’s SurveyUSA which has been erratic all year. Will be interesting to see what other polls have to say going forward.

  2. Oh, it is clearly quite early yet, but it is still interesting.

    Given the amount time since a Rep won a Senate seat in CA (Wilson in 1988), one tends to assume that Boxer will pull it out, quite honestly.

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Your assumtion Steven is that Californians are stupid enough to continue to drink the sour milk they have had delivered to them by the Democrats since Boxer was elected to the Senate.  All I will say to you is you better look up what the term assume means.  It makes as ass of you and me.  I excuse myself from being that, which leaves you.  I litererally cannot wait until November 3rd to see just how the bloggers here at OTB get the egg off their faces.  You boys just ain’t payin attention.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    I found three things interesting in the poll. 1) It’s of likely voters–that means it’s more likely to mean something; 2) it’s over the margin of error–that means that it’s more likely to be true; 3) 27% of black registered voters prefer Fiorina over Boxer–sounds like a BIG problem for Boxer to me.

  5. reid says:

    Fioirina was a disaster as CEO of HP.  Hard to believe she can turn around a few years later and successfully run for the Senate.  I imagine a lot of Silicon Valley is going to actively campaign against her.

  6. Liandro says:

    I highly dislike Boxer, so I would be thrilled if they pull her down from office.  She is not popular at home, so unless she can really tar Fiorina (similar to Reid’s approach, actually) she will be in a bad spot.  I’ve honestly been expecting Boxer to lose the lead for some time–I’m just not sure if it’ll hold.
    Zelsdorf: Though I somewhat agree with your point, I was still turned off by your comment.  Maybe being a bit more cordial will allow you to represent your point a view a little better?  Just a thought, take it or leave it.

  7. Tano says:

    “I found three things interesting in the poll. 1) It’s of likely voters–that means it’s more likely to mean something; ”
    But what is that something? A likely-voter screen is often simply a way for a pollster to fudge the results of a random sample, by modifying the makeup of the sample. It may give a better picture of how actual voters feel, but it is equally likely to yield a worse picture. Depends on how it is done, at a level of detail that we are not privy to.
    2) it’s over the margin of error–that means that it’s more likely to be true;
    Huh? First off, it is not over the margin of error. The MoE applies to both numbers: A 47 to 45 result with a 4pt MoE means that it is equally likely that the “true” result lies anywhere in the ranges of  43-51 to 41-49. So there is plenty of overlap.
    Besides, it is far more likely that the results of any poll are inaccurate because of other factors than simply the MoE – which is nothing more than a proxy for the sample size. Any of the innumerable ways that bias can enter into the sampling far outweigh the uncertainties resulting from sample size (see Rasmussen, for instance).

  8. Tano says:

    Ooops. Messed up the details of the numbers in my example, but the point still holds.
    The result was 47 to 42, so with a 4 pt. MoE, that means anywhere  within the dual ranges  of 43-51 to 38-46. Still overlapping.