Fiorina is also surging, assisted by a $3 million ad buy from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and even more by the deeply offensive visage of Barbara Boxer, forced to campaign openly for the first time in years, which makes every appearance into a reminder of her infamous "Please don't call me ma'am" meltdown. Fiorina's brief hospitalization for infection related to her reconstructive surgery last year following breast cancer did not lead to a halt in her momentum and may have even reminded a large swath of the electorate what a fighter she is, and what fighter California could use in the years ahead.
Helping morale in both Whitman and Fiorina camps are a series of polls from Congressional campaigns in deep blue districts: GOP nominee Van Tran is ahead of the always slightly ditzy Loretta Sanchez in Orange County; in the Fresno area, farmer Andy Vidak is ahead of incumbent Democrat Jim Costa who sided with Nancy Pelosi on Obamacare and didn't get the water to the central valley, cut-off because of the "endangered" Delta smelt, flowing again; and David Harmer is ahead in the burbs of San Francisco, pushing past Pelosi-clone Jerry McNerny. If one or more of these Republican challengers win, much less all three, it is hard to imagine Boxer or Brown surviving the red tide that appears to be flowing.
Many a pollster is warning that they have never seen anything like the enthusiasm gap showing up in their data, and their "likely voter screens" may be deeply warped by nature of the most unusual year we are experiencing. The returns from the early states will also no doubt establish a mood for the final four hours of voting in California.
So cut and paste that Times poll for future reference. There is no shaming the NPR west that is the dwindling band of hyper-partisans at the once-significant paper, but it is still worth a few laughs to remind everyone of the paper's "commitment to objectivity and the highest standards of journalism."