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Did the tea party lose California, too?

Fiorina Many pundits, and some senators, are saying that the "tea party" movement cost the GOP control of the Senate. That is, by putting up candidates from the extreme right in two states -- Delaware and Nevada -- the movement blew an opportunity for Republicans to defeat highly vulnerable Democrats there. I'd add a third state to the list: California.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina isn't generally listed among the tea party candidates, but she probably should have been. Not only was she endorsed before the primary by Sarah Palin, she actively campaignedat tea party meetings. Unlike Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who took on more moderate positions after the primary, Fiorina remained true to the hard-right values that thrill movement activists. Two factors probably explain why Fiorina isn't lumped in with other failed tea party favorites: One of her opponents in the primary, Republican Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, was the choice of the Tea Party Express, if not Palin. And when Palin held an October rally in Anaheim, Fiorina snubbed her by failing to show up.

Whether it's the fault of the tea party or not, the same phenomenon that doomed GOP Senate candidates Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware also sank Fiorina: She was too far to the right for her state's electorate. Republicans upset about the success of Democrats in California should ponder what might have been had they put up former congressman Tom Campbell, a moderate, against incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer instead of Fiorina. My bet is that Campbell would have won.

-- Dan Turner

* Photo of Carly Fiorina by Jae C. Hong / AP


Comments () | Archives (4)

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Chuck DeVore

Except that your theory collapses in that Carly Fiorina did better against Barbara Boxer than the more moderate Meg Whitman did against Jerry Brown, in spite of having poured in more than $140 million of her own money. Further, if the California electorate is so liberal, why did Props. 21 and 24 fail and Prop. 26 pass?

Mitchell Young

Not to mention, say, 1998 went oh so moderate, politically experienced, and connected Matt Fong (son of the legendary March Fong Eu) was defeated by Boxer by 10 points (vs. 9 for Fiorina).

Democrats are untouchable in California -- the demographic shifts caused by the last amnesty are a big part of that.


Republicans are the new bolsheviks. Do you know how bolsheviks became bolsheviks (the majority)? They purified their party, got rid of "communists in name only," whom they called mensheviks (the minority). Their party is a total lock step intellectual chain gang, and they simply don't comprehend that there is no liberal point of view other than everyone is entitled to their own point of view. To paraphrase Will Rogers, if liberals were organized, they would be conservatives.


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This is so funny. The LA Times Opinion is the best in Southern California??????



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