The California Senate race will be decided in Los Angeles County and not in my more liberal neck of the woods, but as someone who has a sort-of-front-seat view, I can try to answer the question of whether the Golden State is in play.
Short answer: yes.
For openers, check the most recent PPIC poll. It has Boxer ahead by five (43–38 percent). That’s striking distance, folks. Moreover, 43 percent is a particularly anemic number for a three-term incumbent who (a) had only token primary opposition (sorry, Mickey Kaus); (b) is running both positive and negative ads day and night; and (c) faces an opponent who is unabashedly conservative (pro-life, pro-drilling, anti-stimulus) in a notoriously deep-blue state.