A new Field Poll shows Senator Barbara Boxer has an early lead over six potential GOP rivals even though only 38 percent of California voters are inclined to support her re-election.
Forty-three percent of the people surveyed said they would probably vote against Boxer next year. Her support among Democrats stood at 61 percent.
The poll nevertheless showed her narrowly beating former Governor Pete Wilson and holding a lead of 13 percentage points over Bill Simon, last year´s Republican candidate for governor.
The poll found Boxer holding even wider leads over the four lesser-known Senate hopefuls. California Republicans have made Boxer a prime target in 2004, saying her liberal voting record makes her vulnerable to a strong GOP candidate. The filing deadline for the race is December Fifth.