The first Boxer-Fiorina debate was expected to be brutal. Last night’s Boxer-Fiorina debate was indeed heated, taking the overall Boxer-Fiorina debate for the California Senate to another level. Things are so uncertain heading into the midterms even California is among the tossup states in the Senate. Barbara Boxer has been a longtime progressive voice in the Senate, yet even she is in big trouble, as she is narrowly holding on against Carly Fiorina. As such, last night’s first debate had the two candidates go at each other almost non-stop.
Since the Senator is a longtime incumbent backed by progressives, and since Fiorina is a Republican challenger and former CEO, this race has been a clash of personalities. Their differences were fully on display last night, as the two faced off on abortion, climate change, partisanship and more.
The Boxer-Fiorina debate became more about them disagreeing than about where they stood on the issues. The challenger was attacked for her “Wall Street values” as former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and for her stance against Roe vs Wade. Meanwhile, the incumbent Senator was called “bitterly partisan” and was accused of shilling for big government and “elite extreme environmental groups.”
The closest that the Boxer-Fiorina debate came to some agreement was in part of the immigration debate. Although Boxer called for immigration reform, while Fiorina supported Arizona’s controversial law, Fiorina did show support for the “Dream Act,” which would give young illegals a path to citizenship.
Although each candidate came out strongly on several issues, one notable part of the Boxer-Fiorina debate had an uncertain stance. Fiorina danced around the issue of Prop 23, which would overturn climate change legislation until California’s unemployment rate was down to 5.5 percent. Once Fiorina admitted she didn’t have a stand on it yet, Boxer said she didn’t know what she would take a stand on.
Even if the Senator did get a point on that issue, she might have needed a few more to distance herself. Heading into late night, the two candidates weren’t separated by much, as Boxer was only up by five points as of Aug. 24, according to Rasmussen. Her struggles are a symbol of how even the safest Democrats aren’t completely protected this year.
Following the Boxer-Fiorina debate, it is uncertain which side will get the biggest boost. Since the night was defined by mudslinging and attacks, they may receive attention for the wrong reasons. It will certainly make their next debates more highly anticipated, as their battle becomes one of November’s most crucial races.
Huffington Post- “Boxer, Fiorina Debate (VIDEO): Senate Candidates Face Off In California”
UPI.com- “Boxer, Fiorina spar in debate for Senate”
Real Clear Politics- “California Senate – Boxer vs Fiorina”