Immigration Makes California Primary Races Tough for Republicans

She faces a quixotic primary challenge from blogger Mickey Kaus, who has characterized his campaign as primarily focused on raising issues and offering voters a choice. He represents a dissenting Democratic voice on immigration, arguing that comprehensive immigration reform is an illusory stop-gap measure. In his campaign ad , Kaus says he can take this and other dissenting Democratic positions because "I don't have a political career."

Candidates Look Toward General Election

In the last week of the primary campaign, the leading candidates have begun to shift their focus to the general election. Campbell's final ad has emphasized his ability to beat Boxer and draws direct comparisons with her policies, including toward immigration. Fiorina has continued direct attacks on Boxer, while Boxer has raised her fundraising targets to prepare for the campaign.

In the governor's race, Brown began running an Internet advertisement targeting Whitman and a video criticizing the partisanship of the GOP primary. Whitman has criticized both Brown's prior term in office and what she alleges is lack of specific policy proposals.

While immigration has shifted the dynamics of the primary races, the nominees will likely focus on economic issues in the general election, and look to appeal to moderate independents. "Our elections in California," says Baldassare, "get determined by candidates positioning themselves to be in the middle of the political spectrum."

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