Dear Mr. Farmer,
Thank you for your note. I was aware of Matt Fong’s race against Boxer and talked about it with some folks when I was out there. I believe, and this was also the view of several shrewd California politics watchers I spoke with, that while some expected Fong to give Boxer a harder run, he did not in the end do so. You will recall, I am sure, the final results in the race:
Barbara Boxer* (D): 3,910,981 (53%)
Matt Fong (R): 3,154,036 (43%)
It was my view that a margin of ten percentage points and more than 750,000 votes did not constitute a tough race. You are, of course, free to take a different view, but I do not see this not as a factual matter, but as a matter of our different interpretations of what constitutes a serious challenge.
Thanks again for writing.
E. J. Dionne
Using his logic, we won't know whether the current Boxer race is a tough one, unless she loses or wins a close one in November. Therefore, he shouldn't be able to make any comments on this re-election bid right now (?)
I assumed he would cite the current polls, but to do that now would mean he would have to do it for each election, which would show that indeed his column is inaccurate.