December 18, 2003

60-40 FILES:

Four Republicans who want to challenge Boxer (Daniel Weintraub, December 18, 2003, Sacramento Bee)

[T]he prize -- the right to face off against two-term Democrat Barbara Boxer next November -- is looking a little bit more attractive to Republican candidates these days. While formidable, Boxer has never been as popular as the state's other senator, Dianne Feinstein. And with a Republican suddenly in the governor's office and President Bush looking stronger on the national scene, the potential Boxer challengers are beginning to think they might just catch a wave and knock her off. [...]

[T]he early favorite figures to be the man who finished third in that race, former Secretary of State Bill Jones. With the highest name identification, the biggest endorsements and, probably, access to the most money, this would seem to be Jones' race to lose. He is expected to have the backing of former Republican Govs. Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian and will try to establish an early lead to give his nomination the feel of inevitability. [...]

The others on the ballot include Howard Kaloogian, Rosario Marin and Toni Casey.

Kaloogian, a former financial planner and assemblyman from San Diego County, is the conservative insurgent in the race. An early backer of the Davis recall, Kaloogian was chairman of the Recall Gray Davis Committee, a position from which he used the Internet and talk radio to generate support in conservative ranks for a campaign that many establishment Republicans thought was a waste of time and money. [...]

Marin, a former Wilson aide and mayor of Huntington Park who served as U.S. Treasurer under George W. Bush, is another wild card in the race. A Mexican immigrant, a moderate on social issues but a fiscal conservative, Marin is the sort of new Republican who many party activists believe will be crucial to building the party's future in California. [...]

Casey, another former Bush appointee, at the Small Business Administration, is trying to position herself as the high-tech candidate. She boasts two advanced degrees from Stanford University, is the former mayor of Los Altos Hills and for 10 years served as a lobbyist for the biotech industry.

Governor Schwarzenegger has an obvious interest in getting a more accomodating state legislature elected, so he has an interest in pumping up the GOP statewide. If he and the Bush team put maximum resources and effort into it, California could be the Democrats' Ground Zero in November 2004.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 7:19 PM

If Bush wins California, I'll probably drop dead in shock.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 19, 2003 12:24 PM

Bush won't win DC,California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, or any New England state other than New Hampshire. But he has every other state either sewn up or has a really good shot at. Hard to see him not getting 273 Electoral Votes under that situation, but there are just too many polarized states for Bush to sweep all 50 states.

Posted by: MarkD at December 20, 2003 11:15 AM

Reagan was a more polarizing figure in a less Republican America:

Posted by: oj at December 20, 2003 11:28 AM