We won the big statewide races yesterday, and now it's back to work trying to win some more. The California Senate primary may not be until June, but when we're faced with an entrenched incumbent like Barbara Boxer, we need all the lead time we can get.
Up until now, the DC types have all been supporting Carly Fiorina in our primary, even though she had not yet declared her candidacy, and had yet shown either an inability or an unwillingness to campaign to the Republican voters of this state. Thus, that early support had failed to move any dials as Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has raised money well, gained loyal grass roots support, and ran ahead of Fiorina against Boxer in polls. But now, with the fallout of Dede Scozzafava's blowup spreading nationwide, events are moving more quickly.
The NRSC is conceding its positions in primaries, pulling a crutch out from under Fiorina's already-limping campaign. Conservative DC types are taking advantage of the new neutrality, too, starting with Senator Jim DeMint endorsing DeVore, while Fiorina has the backing of South Carolina's other Senator, Lindsey Graham.
I know which name and which endorsement have more clout with the grass roots, the Tea Partiers, and other activists who will be essential to any Republican challenge of Boxer. So does Fiorina, who decided to try to drown out this news by announcing her formal candidacy.
Too little, too late. We've driven a wedge into the foundation of the anti-conservative establishment, and we're going to crack it up before we're done. We will judge each candidate on his or her own merits, and pick the one that's best able to represent us and win.
Sometimes, in some races, that will mean the most reliably conservative candidate will not win. That's fine, as long as we're giving each candidate a fair shake, and not reflexively picking the candidate with the more 'moderate' image. In the case of the California Senate we must especially avoid that mistake. Carly Fiorina is a novice candidate whose campaign has gotten off to a poor start. She's not ready, and she's no more likely to beat Boxer than DeVore is.
DeVore will put up a good fight, and he's proven on the issues. This race is not one of Erick Erickson's hills to die on, but that doesn't mean we don't stand ready to send a big message, and benefit big, from a win in this primary. We in California elect a fair number of Republicans to the House, and we could use all the motivation we can get from the top of the ticket if we want to help take the House back in 2010.