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Boxer decision gives voters change they say they want

The senator won’t seek re-election in 2016, and voters are ready for new blood, a USC Dornsife/Times poll found

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s announcement Thursday that she will not seek re-election in 2016 gives California voters the opportunity for change they say they want.

According to the most recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, released nine weeks ago after the general election, Boxer and Senate colleague Dianne Feinstein remain popular.

But nearly six in 10 voters said the state would be better off with new candidates, when asked a question that did not mention Boxer or Feinstein by name. Both senators are beginning their 23rd year in office.

“Both Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer can get re-elected in California for as long as they want,” poll director Dan Schnur said when the numbers were released.

“But what these numbers reflect is a general restlessness in the electorate and a dissatisfaction with the way politics are practiced in Washington. It does suggest the need for a new generation of political leaders in California,” said Schnur, executive director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

Favorable ratings

In the November poll, both senators enjoyed a 66 percent favorable rating among registered Democratic voters.

Among all voters:

  • 46 percent said they had a favorable view of Boxer, and 35 percent said they had an unfavorable view.
  • 48 percent said they had a favorable view of Feinstein, and 32 percent said they had an unfavorable view.

The poll, the largest statewide survey of registered voters, sampled 1,537 California voters from Oct. 22-29, 2014, and included a significant oversample of Latino voters as well as one of the most robust cell phone samples in the state. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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Boxer decision gives voters change they say they want

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