Commentary: Fiorina stays to the right

Imagine this: In environmentally sensitive California, Carly Fiorina, hoping to be this state's next U.S. senator, supports offshore oil drilling and nuclear power, and hates the law that promises to reduce greenhouse gases.

Fiorina publicly says she'd vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the opportunity, this in a state where an anti-abortion rights candidate at the top of the ticket has not won since the 1980s.

For good measure, she proudly supports the Second Amendment, opposes same-sex marriage and looks to the free market libertarian Cato Institute for counsel on the economy.

What gives? Unlike so many candidates before her, Fiorina clings to her stands on social issues. It endears her to Republican stalwarts. But in a state where there are 2.3 million more Democrats than Republicans, she may be making a fatal error. Then again, perhaps it's all part of a much bigger plan, beyond the U.S. Senate.

Whatever the reason, this we know: Virtually all of those positions will come up when Fiorina meets Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer in their one and only scheduled debate, to be aired Wednesday on Channel 3 (KCRA).

Voters know Boxer.

She's the darling of environmentalists, and advocates of gun control and abortion rights. An all-around social liberal, she may be too far left for much of the California electorate. But Boxer has been flattening Republican opponents since 1992 by portraying them as out of step on social issues with mainstream California. She'll do the same with Fiorina, or at least try.

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