Top of the Ballot: Biden to California for Boxer

Vice President Joe Biden sets two fundraising dates with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the GOP readies for President Barack Obama's stop in Ohio and a new poll shows Republican Dino Rossi closing in on Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Biden back to California

Biden will headline two fundraisers for Boxer next month. Biden will host a fundraiser for Boxer in Silicon Valley on July 8 and another in Los Angeles on July 9. The vice president headlined a fundraiser for Boxer last fall, and Obama has already hosted two events for the senator this year.

Boxer is in a tough race against Republican Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who has already spent millions of her own money on the race. As the San Jose Mercury News points out, Boxer had more than $9 million in her campaign coffers as of last month, compared to less than $1 million for Fiorina. But the Republican is expected to use her personal wealth to keep the race close.

The latest poll numbers give Boxer a five-point edge — 48 percent to 43.

Fiorina quickly jumped on the news of Biden's visit, calling it a "rescue mission." In a statement, Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund said, "Vice President Biden's plan to visit California in July represents the fourth rescue mission in as many months conducted by the Obama administration to save Barbara Boxer's failing political career."

Fisher shares a stage with Obama

The last two times Obama made a trip to the Buckeye State, Democratic Senate candidate and Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher was notably absent, something Republicans relish pointing out. But on Friday, Fisher will be in attendance when the president talks jobs at a stop in Columbus. Obama will speak at a groundbreaking for a project paid for with stimulus dollars.

Republicans will use the appearance to tie Fisher to the president in a state where Obama's approval is under 50 percent. Fisher is facing former Rep. and Bush administration OMB Director Rob Portman (R). The latest Rasmussen poll has that race in a dead heat, 43-43.

Another vulnerable Democrat may be in attendance Friday. A spokesman for Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) told the Columbus Dispatch the congresswoman would likely be at the president's event.

Rossi closing the gap?

A new Elway Poll out of Washington state gives Murray a seven-point lead over likely Republican challenger Rossi. The numbers, released Wednesday, show that Rossi has narrowed the gap by more than 15 points in the last month. Murray leads Rossi 47 percent to 40, with 13 percent undecided.

An Elway poll from last month had Murray up 51-34.

Despite the gains, Rossi could face trouble from his right in the form of Tea Party favorite Clint Didier. Didier was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Polls still have Rossi leading Didier by a large margin in the Republican primary, but Rossi will need a united and highly energized Republican base to turn out come November.

More in Senate races

Top Ohio Dem backs Strickland for Senate

Read more »