Republican Carly Fiorina, who is locked in a tight race with incumbent California Senator Barbara Boxer, was admitted to the hospital due to an infection related to reconstructive surgery she received after her battle with breast cancer.
According to CNN, her campaign released the following announcement:
“Carly learned more than a year and a half ago that she, like millions of women, had breast cancer. After successfully battling cancer, she had reconstructive surgery this summer and remains cancer free today. However, this morning Carly came down with an infection associated with the reconstructive surgery and, as a result, she was admitted to the hospital to receive antibiotics to treat this infection. While this will impact her campaign schedule today, Carly is upbeat and her doctors expect her to make a quick and full recovery and be back out on the campaign trail soon. Carly is looking forward to getting back to her full campaign schedule and to defeating Barbara Boxer on November 2.”
Any time spent away from the campaign trail could be seen as damaging in the last week before a close election. In most polls, Fiorina is seen as one or two points behind Barbara Boxer, with Boxer below 50 percent, a bad place to be for an incumbent. The theory goes that last-minute deciders usually go with the challenger, thus putting Fiorina over the top by election day.
On the other hand, if Carly Fiorina only has to spend a day or two in the hospital and then bounces back to the campaign trail, the incident might rebound in her favor. Besides the natural sympathy that any medical crisis is likely to benefit, overcoming her health problem and getting right back in the fight would show strength and commitment, something voters tend to appreciate in people asking for their vote.
Carly Fiorina is doing quite a bit better than Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who seems to have fallen behind Democrat and former governor Jerry Brown. Barring a last minute surge or perhaps a mistake in the likely voter models, Brown might actually become governor of California again in a time in which that state is on the brink of fiscal collapse.
Why the apparent split decision is shaping up is difficult to say. Both Whitman and Fiorina are center-right Republicans, suited in their mix of issues to California politics. The answer likely lies in the character of the two campaigns and the candidates. It will be something that will be analyzed in the weeks to come after the election.
Source: Fiorina in hospital, CNN, October 26th, 2010