GOP Optimistic About Senate Race, But First Thing's First

Republicans pick their candidate to take on Sen. Barbara Boxer

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    AP
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    California Republicans are optimistic that they have a good shot at unseating Sen. Barbara Boxer in November. Tonight, we'll find out on which candidate those hopes ride.

    Headed into Tuesday's election, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was the front-runner in most recent polls. She is taking on state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and former congressman Tom Campbell for the GOP nomination.

    Check Live Election Night Results After the Polls Close

    Fiorina built her lead in the polls with the help of a $6.7 million ad campaign. DeVore spent nearly $2.1 million, and Campbell spent nearly $1.7 million.

    Fiorina received endorsements from Sarah Palin and other national figures. She also received backing from the National Organization for Marriage, which attacked Campbell. The National Rifle Association also contacted members and asked them not to vote for Campbell.

    Campbell, who led in early polls, has tried to sell himself as the only candidate with a realistic chance of beating Boxer in a head-to-head race. The former finance director for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger favors abortion rights and supports same-sex marriage, and he has supported tax increases in the past -- decisions that might hurt his standing among conservative voters in the primary.

    As for DeVore, he's attended more than 40 tea party gatherings during his campaign. He is hoping a wave of support from such organizations can motivate voters, but last week's Field Poll showed Fiorina winning support from 40 percent of voters who identified with the tea party movement.

    And what does Boxer, who does not face a serious challenge in the primary, think of all this?

    "I think they've all embraced the failed policies that got us into this mess, and I think that's going to be a real problem for them," Boxer said.

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