Boxer's approval ratings sink, Field Poll says
Joe Garofoli,Drew Joseph, Chronicle Staff Writers
Thursday, July 8, 2010
California voters are giving U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer some of the lowest approval ratings of her career, as the three-term Democrat is in a statistical dead heat against first-time GOP office-seeker Carly Fiorina, according to a new Field Poll released today.
Boxer leads Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, 47 to 44 percent, according to Field's survey of 1,390 registered voters, 1,005 of whom were considered likely to vote in November. The poll, conducted June 22-July 5, has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points among likely voters. For Boxer's job performance ratings among registered voters, the margin of error is 2.8 percentage points.
Boxer's slight numerical lead masks potentially serious problems for the senator, starting with how 52 percent of the respondents hold an unfavorable view of her.
At the same time, her job approval rating is among the lowest that Field has measured for her since she was first elected to the Senate in 1992: 43 percent of registered voters disapprove of her performance while 42 percent approve. Among likely voters, 48 percent disapprove and 42 percent approve.
While voters' responses to a pollster in July may change by the time they vote in November, the new poll shows that whether voters love or hate her, 93 percent hold an opinion about Boxer.
"She is vulnerable," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said. "This is very ominous for her."
One of Boxer's more vexing problems, analysts say, is that opposition to her is not just about her. She has become an avatar for broader voter frustrations about the struggling economy, President Obama and the growth of the federal government.