Another new poll shows former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) opening up a lead in the state's GOP Senate primary.
The SurveyUSA poll has Campbell leading businesswoman Carly Fiorina 34-27. The margin is a little smaller than the 31-17 difference in a recent bipartisan poll, but the lesson is the same -- that Campbell has asserted himself as the frontrunner with a month and a half to go in their June 8 primary.
Of course, plenty will happen in the last month and a half. Campbell is taking some heat from third-party groups who don't think he's conservative enough, and Fiorina has personal money that she can use to outspend him down the stretch. She had $2.8 million in the bank, while he had $1.1 million.
State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is the 'x' factor here. He is in the mid-single digits in the polls and doesn't have as much money (about $400,000 at the end of March). But he has used his grassroots following to effectively team up with Campbell to take on Fiorina. If he keeps going after her and ignoring the man leading in the polls, that could allow Campbell to build an even bigger lead.
The lingering rancor between DeVore and Fiorina has been remarkable, considering Campbell's ascendance. Even as the Fiorina campaign commented on the polls yesterday, it's statement addressed DeVore before Campbell.
“These numbers are not good news for Chuck DeVore, and it makes one wonder how he and his campaign will be celebrating Back To Earth Day this afternoon after their premature and unwarranted rooftop singing this morning," Fiorina said. "And though Tom Campbell has earned high name identification by being a perennial office seeker, once Californians learn about his decades-long record of support for higher taxes and more government regulation, voters will turn to support a true fiscal conservative and political outsider: Carly Fiorina.”