Three weeks before the primary election on June 8, Carly Fiorina made an argument that helped her win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. She said at the time, "I am the only Republican candidate with the resources to carry the fight against (incumbent) Barbara Boxer." Good-bye Tom Campbell. Good-bye Chuck Devore.
Why wouldn't Republican voters have rallied to Fiorina? She had pumped five and a half million dollars into her own campaign before the primary election. Many Republicans assumed she would be Whitman-esque in the general election campaign, too, providing her own money as needed to pound away at Barbara Boxer's record. She may do that yet but it doesn't appear likely. Her campaign spokesman told the Los Angeles Times last week that Fiorina "has not indicated yet whether she's going to put any more money into the campaign." With polls indicating a very tight race, why pull back now?
For one thing, Fiorina doesn't have Meg Whitman's pockets. There's not a bottomless well of money she can dip into. And if Republican leaders are wondering whether she can produce the money she needs, the most recent fund raising reports may not answer the question. Fiorina did raise nearly 1.4 million dollars during a six week period ending on June 30Th. But her Democratic opponent raised 2.6 million during the same period, helped along by campaign visits from President Obama. Boxer has raised 19 million dollars in all, and has more than eleven million dollars in the bank. More than half of Fiorina's total take of $10.5 million has come from her own wallet. And she has less than a million dollars of cash on hand.
Given that scenario, does the Republican National Committee pump money into Fiorina's campaign, or other races across the country where the money might talk more loudly?
As the Fiorina campaign plots its next moves, the Boxer camp might be considering a new strategy. According to Corey Cook of the University of San Francisco's Political Sciences Department, Boxer had tooled up a defensive campaign against the "referendum on Boxer's record" as Fiorina has described the race. Now, Boxer has the money to go on the attack against Fiorina's positions. "Pick a topic" Cook says, "abortion, immigration, climate change. She has never moved toward the middle after staking out very conservative positions during her primary campaign."
In recent days, Boxer has made an issue of Fiorina's yachts; one docked in Sausalito, the other along the Potomac in Washington, D.C. The implication is that Fiorina has so much money she can hardly relate to the people whose interests she vows to represent. That's an interesting argument from the candidate who is sitting on a small fortune in campaign cash.