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Boxer Retains Senate Seat

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U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) speaks at a news conference after casting her vote during early voting for the California midterm election at the Riverside County Registrar's Office on October 12, 2010 in Riverside, California. Boxer is in a tight race to keep her senate seat with Republican senatorial candidate  Carly Fiorina.  (credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) speaks at a news conference after casting her vote during early voting for the California midterm election at the Riverside County Registrar’s Office on October 12, 2010 in Riverside, California. Boxer is in a tight race to keep her senate seat with Republican senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina. (credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Senator Barbara Boxer gets to retain her hotly-contested Senate seat after a bruising challenge from Republican Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Early exit polling said Boxer won by putting together a coalition of women, minorities (namely blacks, gays, Latinos and Asians) as well as voters from big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Fiorina, for her part, did well with white males and in the southern California counties, namely Orange and San Bernardino.

Boxer Reelected To Senate: KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports.

Those coalitions rivaled those in the Jerry Brown – Meg Whitman contest for Governor.

A higher-than-normal turnout favored Boxer. California has more registered Democrats than Republicans.

An endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin didn’t seem to help Fiorina. In fact, some political observers in California, where Palin’s popularity is more negative than positive, might have hurt Fiorina with voters in the Southland.

Boxer jumped on the opportunity in ads by saying “Fiorina was too extreme for California.”

Boxer also jumped all over Fiorina’s record as CEO (she was ousted by the board in 2005) as well as her taking a golden parachute upon her firing (some estimates say she got $45 million.)

Fiorina insisted she knew how to create jobs, but Boxer responded that Fiorina shipped 30,000 jobs to “China and not Chino.” Fired Hewlett-Packard workers might have delivered the death knell in one ad where one says, “We even had to train our replacements.”

Boxer acknowledged that Fiorina was probably her biggest challenge to date. In one ad, Fiorina mocked Boxer for “arrogance” when she asked a General to call her Senator, and not “Ma’am”  during a public works committee hearing.

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