Los Angeles (CNN) – After being dark for two days in the crucial home stretch of the primary campaign because of a shortage of cash, Republican Senatorial Candidate Tom Campbell is back on the air Thursday with a new television ad touting his electability.
"I do have something neither of my opponents can offer. The Los Angeles Times announced a poll that shows me beating Sen. Barbara Boxer by 7 points. Carly Fiorina loses to Barbara Boxer by 6 points. Let's not lose this historic opportunity to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer," says Campbell in his new ad.
However, that Los Angeles Times/USC survey, which was released this past weekend, also indicates that Campbell, who led the field several months ago, now trailing Fiorina in the GOP primary contest 38 percent to 23 percent. Campbell, a social moderate who backs abortion rights, maintains he can attract the more moderate voters that are needed in order for Republicans to convert the seat come November.
Republicans sense this may be the best opportunity to knock off Boxer. Only 34 percent of those surveyed in the recent USC/LA Times poll said they would vote to re-elect the three-term incumbent, and almost half said they would vote for someone else.
"If the primary produces a social conservative that candidate will have a very hard time in November," Campbell told CNN in an interview Wednesday. "If you want to beat Boxer you have to nominate Campbell. The key to winning in November is to nominate someone who will not turn off the numbers of independents and fiscally conservative Democrats that a Republican needs. With 31 percent registration in California for Republicans you need to pick up that 19 plus from somewhere else," Campbell told CNN.
Key to winning any election in California is money and lots of it since television advertising is such a major part of running a successful campaign in the state.
Fiorina, who has never run for political office before, lent her campaign several million dollars in the last few months meaning she has personally contributed at least $5.5 million to her effort.
Campbell, a former congressman who switched from running in the gubernatorial contest to the senate one, said he has been hamstrung because he has lagged behind in fundraising and does not have the personal wealth that Fiorina does. A recent financial report showed Campbell with about $400,000 cash on hand while Fiorina had more than $2 million.
"I will certainly have preferred to have $5 million of my own money to put in the campaign as my opponent did," Campbell told CNN.
Fiorina's campaign is already looking ahead to the general election contest airing an ad beginning Wednesday which targets Boxer for comments she made saying climate change is one of the important national security issues facing the country. "Terrorism kills, and Barbara Boxer's worried about the weather?"
Boxer's campaign reacted to the ad saying "Senator Boxer has successfully advocated for tough measures to protect America – from sanctions on Iran to allowing specially-trained pilots to have guns in the cockpit.
Meanwhile, Fiorina has a troubling record on protecting Americans from terrorism," said its campaign manager Rose Kapolcynski pointing to in part allegations concerning Hewlett-Packard, where Fiorina was the one time CEO before she was fired. Boxer's camp raised previous accusations that H-P traded with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, through an intermediary in an effort to sidestep U.S. sanctions. Fiorina's campaign then countered that saying she did not have any knowledge of illegal sales while at the company, and the firm fired the subsidiary when it became aware of the sales.
While Fiorina has been stumping the state this week, Campbell mostly has been concentrating on media interviews and fundraising events to try to get his message out and to raise enough money to air some ads. He is hitting the stump Thursday in Northern California.
Also running in the GOP primary but lagging behind is state assemblyman Chuck Devore, who has been embraced by many Tea Party activists.
In a statement to CNN, Fiorina spokesperson Amy Thoma said that Campbell, "doesn't have millions to spend because he didn't raise enough money despite claims to the contrary. Two words describe this ad: desperate and sad."
Updated: 9:04 p.m.