Monday, September 21, 2015

Carly Fiorina was one of the most successful statewide GOP candidates in California in the last 15 years

People keep bringing up the loss in California as if she messed up something that was truly winnable by the GOP.  The fact of the matter is, it would have taken a miracle for Carly Fiorina to have won a Senate seat in California, one of the bluest of blue states.  Other than Arnold Schwarzenegger (who benefits from Trump-like celebrity and being the Terminator), California has been a graveyard for Republican candidates in statewide elections for major offices.  I looked at Every election for Senator, Governor and President in that state since 2000 and the average percent of the vote for a Republican candidate was only 39.4% during this time period.  Neel Kashkari only received 40% of the vote in 2014 in his race for Governor, Mitt Romney only received 37.1% of the vote in 2012 (which was almost identical to the 37% for McCain in 2008) and in the most recent Senate race, the candidate Elizabeth Emken only received 37.5%.

Notably, Carly Fiorina outperformed everyone except for Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W in 2004 (though she outperformed his 2000 percentage) with 42.2% of the vote (and was essentially tied with Bill Simon's performance in 2002), which is abysmal in most places but actually was an extremely good number for California.  She even outperformed Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay, who was running for Governor in the same year and spent more than an order of magnitude more money than Carly Fiorina did (Whitman spent $322.5m compared to only $22m for Carly yet only hit 40.9% of the vote).  The funny thing is that Whitman was the successful CEO of Ebay, a household name and didn't have the "stock run into the ground" and "30,000 layoffs" memes running around her yet she still didn't do as well as Carly.  Seriously, if Carly Fiorina's HP record is such a disqualifier, why did she outperform every Republican other than a popular celebrity and a sitting President in California?

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