Is Fiorina’s recent hospitalization bringing in sympathy votes?

Californian U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina, who was treated for breast cancer last year and given a clean bill of health, was out of the race against Boxer for two days when she was hospitalized last Tuesday for an infection related to her reconstructive surgery this summer. How will this affect votes?

The former Hewlet CEO, who last year went through a gruelling course of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as undergoing a  double masectomy, has often spoken about her personal experience with breast cancer on the campaign trail while encouraging the repeal of President Obamas’ health care legislation.

The 56-year-old Rebublican has argued that Obama’s legislation, which would extend health insurance coverage to over 32 million Americans over the next 10 years, is too expensive and could reduce the quality of care in America. She has time and again expressed concern that the healthcare plan would be dependent on Medicaid to expand coverage to low-income people, and was quoted by latimes.com as saying that Medicaid “cannot handle the influx of patients that they are being asked to deal with.”

Fiorina’s recent stint hospitalization may have had a bit of a humanizing affect, and as Jack Pitney, a political scientist said: “Unless there is much more to the illness than the campaign has disclosed, it won’t hurt Fiorina. It probably helps her a bit. It reminds people that she’s not just a millionaire, but a cancer survivor who has firsthand experience with life-shaping challenges.”

And accoring to Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for Study of Politics and Media at California State University, conventional wisdom says that Fiorina should get some sympathy votes. “But that relates more to the party faithful than the undecided voters, [whom] she needs to turn this election around.”

Are you voting for Carly? What do you think – will she win the governor’s race?

Celebrities who have had breast cancer include Kylie Minogue, Christina Applegate, Ingrid Bergman, Betty Ford and Jennifer Lyon.

Images: Facebook and Wikipedia Commons