TOM CAMPBELL: ‘Maverick’ GOP Candidate Faces Uphill Senate Race
Although Rep. Tom Campbell (R) often enjoys being the "unRepublican Republican," that label could hurt the "maverick" GOP lawmaker's attempt to unseat popular incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in this year's election, the New York Times reports. Some Republicans have had difficulty rallying around Campbell because he often opposes the party's rank and file on conservative issues, including abortion (Nieves, 8/24). Campbell "staunchly" supports abortion rights during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, he does support a ban on "partial-birth" abortion, except in cases where the woman's life is endangered or carrying the pregnancy to term would destroy the woman's ability to bear children in the future. Such stances have made many conservative lawmakers wary of lending their support to Campbell's campaign. Despite the hesitation, Campbell insists that "the ties that bind him and conservatives are far more plentiful than their relatively few differences" (Hostetter, Fresno Bee, 8/24). Even with unwavering support from conservatives, Campbell would face an uphill battle against Feinstein. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released earlier this month showed Feinstein with a 52% to 33% lead over Campbell among all voters and a 60% to 21% lead among Latino voters. Campbell insists that the gap is narrower, closer to 11%, according to a poll commissioned by his campaign this month. By Nov. 7, Campbell predicts that voters "will know him and like him and want him as their senator" (New York Times, 8/24).
Targeting the Latino Vote
To bolster his campaign, Campbell released a Spanish-language ad last week attacking Feinstein's stance on Proposition 187, the state measure that would have denied immigrants certain health care and education benefits. Titled "Familia," the 30-second spot aired in Los Angeles and Central Valley markets Aug. 14-19. The ad states: "We remember Proposition 187. Tom Campbell does too. While Dianne Feinstein waited to the last minute to say where she stood, Tom Campbell had already been standing with us against 187." The ad continues: "When Feinstein wanted that everyone carry a national identification card, Tom Campbell stood against her, standing for our communities, our families." Campbell states: "As your senator, your problems will be my problems. Your concerns will be mine" (Connors, NationalJournal.com, 8/23). To view "Familia," please click here. Note: You will need RealPlayer G2 to view the Spanish-language ad.