Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is an unabashed liberal. Though her critics use the word derisively, "liberal" is not a disqualification for office in California. A majority of voters are in tune with Boxer on the environment, a woman's choice on abortion and gun control. Though Boxer has in the past seemed too much the advocate and too little a lawmaker, she has worked during her second term on being more effective. She's earned election to a third term Nov. 2.
Boxer's Republican opponent, Bill Jones, compiled an exemplary record during two terms as California secretary of state, running the office with strict fairness and nonpartisanship. In this contest, he has spoken largely in generalities except for following the White House line on the war in Iraq and terrorism. The national Republican Party has offered him little support or funding, and he trails badly in polls. It's too bad this wasn't a livelier race.