Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer holds a narrow three-point lead over Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, according to a Field Poll released today.

The poll found that 47 percent of likely voters support Boxer, with 44 percent saying they prefer Fiorina and 9 percent either undecided or supporting other candidates. The telephone survey, conducted June 22 to July 5, polled 1,005 likely voters. The margin of error for the matchup is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Boxer's lead has widened since March, when Fiorina, locked in a three-way primary, trailed by just one point. But the three-term senator's edge over the former Hewlett-Packard executive has fallen 30 points since Field first polled registered voters on hypothetical match-ups in March 2009.

As Boxer's lead has shrunk, the percentage of voters who view her negatively has grown. Fifty-two percent of current respondents have a negative view of the three-term senator, with 41 percent giving her a positive rating. Just 7 percent of respondents had no opinion.

Fiorina's favorability ratings are higher than her negatives, but not by much. Thirty-four percent of respondents gave her a positive rating, while 29 percent had an unfavorable view. Thirty-seven percent of voters polled still have no opinion of the GOP nominee.

The favorability ratings, asked of a subset of voters, have a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.

Some other numbers worth noting in today's poll:

• Boxer had a six-point advantage (47 percent to 39 percent) among respondents who identify as "nonpartisan."

• Boxer also has a wide margin of support among Latino voters (55 percent to 32 percent).

• Fiorina supporters are much more likely to identify with the tea party. Three-fourths of respondents who at least somewhat identify with the movement support Fiorina.

Women prefer Boxer by an 11-point margin (51 percent to 40 percent) while men back Fiorina by seven points (49 percent to 42 percent).

David Siders has more on the results in today's Bee. Click here for the full release and statistical tabulations prepared exclusively for Capitol Alert.

PENSION POW-WOW: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is holding an 11 a.m. roundtable to discuss his plans to overhaul the public employee pension system. Expected attendees include Senate Republican leader Dennis Hollingsworth, former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, former Democratic Assemblyman Joe Nation, Department of Finance Director Ana Matosantos and Schwarzenegger adviser David Crane.

BULLET TRAIN: The California High-Speed Rail Authority meets at 9 a.m. in Los Angeles. On the agenda: a presentation on a recent University of California report questioning past ridership projections.

BALLOTWATCH: Opponents of Proposition 25, the November ballot measure to lower the two-thirds legislative vote requirement for passing a budget to a majority, are holding a news conference to talk about what they see as the "major flaws" in the proposal. Participants include California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg, California Taxpayers Association President Teresa Casazza and attorney Steve Merksamer.

GOV2010: Democrat Jerry Brown is making a campaign announcement in Los Angeles this morning afternoon.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said Brown was making his campaign announcement this morning. This morning he is attending a news conference related to the arrest of an alleged serial killer in Los Angeles. The campaign announcement is this afternoon.



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