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Gloves come off in close California Senate showdown

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-11-03

The race: US Senate, California

The candidates: Barbara Boxer (Democrat) vs. Carly Fiorina (Republican)

The intrigue: Incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer (pictured left) is locked in a close and full-contact battle to save her Senate seat, after almost three decades in Washington. The contender, Republican Carly Fiorino, has heavyweight business credentials: she is the former boss of Hewlett-Packard.

Fiorino dropped 5.5 million dollars of her own to win the Republican primary in June and is ready to spend even more to knock out Boxer. She is boasting her corporate experience and pledging fiscal austerity in a state that has been dragged down by budget deficits. The feisty and liberal Boxer, meanwhile, has used Fiorino’s executive background against her, taking a swipe at her for shipping off American jobs overseas during her time at HP and highlighting her forced resignation from the tech giant.

Californians have been disenchanted with Boxer, and could welcome a new woman in the Senate. But Fiorino’s very conservative views – she opposes abortion rights and supports hard-line immigration enforcement - plus her frosty demeanour could prove to be fatal handicaps in California.

The odds: Fiorino, a fierce debater, closed in on Boxer after her win in the primaries, but Boxer has been pulling ahead in recent opinion polls. Tradition also favours Boxer in a state that has not elected a Republican senator since 1988.

Winner: Boxer

Barbara Boxer photo courtesy of Barbara Boxer facebook page.

Date created : 2010-10-07