Republican candidates gear up to battle Boxer

LOS ANGELES The primary election is still four days away. But Republican U.S. Senate candidate /*Carly Fiorina*/ holds such a commanding lead her Democratic opponent is preparing for the November face-off. And as veteran incumbent /*Barbara Boxer*/ indicates, it's going to be a no-holds-barred contest.

Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer is looking for a fourth term in what could be her toughest campaign. She was in Hollywood to talk about jobs and transportation.

She also mentioned the three Republicans who want to face her in November. Her probable opponent is former Hewlet-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who visited a phone bank in Palm Desert. Fiorina leads her nearest opponent by at least 15 points.

In television ads Fiorina has accused Boxer of being soft on terrorism because she considers global warming a significant threat.

"I think what she's doing is kind of the oldest trick in the book. She's very weak on terrorism, because when she was CEO of Hewlett Packard, they traded with Iran," said Boxer.

Fiorina has never run for public office and has been spending millions to beat her two opponents.

The one for her to beat has been former congressman, assemblyman and state finance director /*Tom Campbell*/. But in recent weeks Fiorina pulled substantially ahead of Campbell.

Both Campbell and Fiorina have been trying to appear more conservative. They were challenged by conservative state Assemblyman /*Chuck DeVore*/. DeVore hasn't moved out of third in the primary campaign.

Fiorina accused Boxer Friday of supporting President Obama's economic stimulus package and causing joblessness. Last month there was a growth in jobs, but it was less than expected.

"Assuming it is Carly Fiorina against me, what we're going to see is someone who is fighting and creating jobs every day and someone who laid off 30,000 workers when she was at HP -- shipped their jobs overseas," said Boxer.

Fiorina, on the other hand, says Boxer's priorities have lead to higher taxes and deficits.

The primary is Tuesday. The campaign for Boxer's U.S. Senate seat in November promises to be a good one.

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