Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Must Read: Boxer Takes Solid Lead; But Democrats to Lose House

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 6:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Barbara Boxer has widened her lead over Carly Fiorina to eight points, according to the respected Field Poll, the Chron reports. The poll also shows that independent voters in California are bucking a nationwide trend. Throughout the country, independents are breaking toward Republican candidates this election, but the Field Poll shows that Democrat Boxer has a seventeen-point lead among independents in California, 49 percent to 32 percent. Fiorina, who flirted heavily with the Tea Party earlier this year, is just too conservative for the state.

2. Boxer’s strong lead will help Democrats keep the Senate, but with four days to go, the odds that Dems will hold onto the House are fading fast. New York Times statistician Nate Silver is projecting that Republicans will take a commanding 232-203 advantage in the House. Silver, however, continues to forecast that Democrats will maintain a 52-48 advantage in the Senate.

3. As Meg Whitman’s collapse in the polls deepens, the ex-eBay CEO lashed out at her former housekeeper, telling Fox News that Nicky Diaz should be deported. Whitman later backed off a bit on that assertion, but there’s little doubt that her abrupt downward spiral coincided with the revelation that she had employed an illegal immigrant maid and then fired her when she decided to run for governor.

4. Kamala Harris is trying hard to win over voters in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County, but she’s having trouble because moderate Steve Cooley is so popular there, the LA Times reports. No Democrat has won statewide office in the last two decades without taking LA County by at least eight points. But Cooley leads there by nine, according to the latest poll. Harris is attempting to fight back by digging up dirt on Cooley, alleging that he failed to disclose numerous gifts, the Chron reports. But then Harris’ office couldn’t find her own gift-receipt logs for three years — 2004 through 2006.

5. Oakland City Attorney John Russo filed suit yesterday against four protesters from the Johannes Mehserle verdict demonstrations for robbing businesses, setting fires, and inciting chaos, the Trib reports. The ex-BART cop is scheduled to be sentenced for killing passenger Oscar Grant one week from today.

6. Halliburton appears to be at fault, at least partially, for the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year, AP reports. The politically connected contractor that used to be run by ex-Vice President Dick Cheney has admitted that it when it installed the well that blew up it failed to conduct a critical test.

7. And the San Francisco Giants took a commanding two-game lead in the World Series last night, pounding the Texas Rangers 9-0.

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