HomeTop StoriesCalifornia votes in the Senate primaries today. Meet the candidates vying...

California votes in the Senate primaries today. Meet the candidates vying for Dianne Feinstein’s seat.

The candidates for the Senate in California are trying to attract voters to the polls


The candidates for the Senate in California are trying to attract voters to the polls

03:37

Washington — Candidates enter into battle Tuesday in California’s crowded Senate race, where more than two dozen candidates are vying to represent the nation’s most populous state.

The two biggest vote-getters in the Golden State’s so-called jungle primaries, in which candidates from all parties compete for a shot at the late-term election Senator Dianne Feinstein‘s seat, will advance to the November general election.

The campaign for the chair in deep blue California has been a long battle. Even before Feinstein said she would not seek re-election, several candidates had announced they would enter the race for a seat that had not been open for three decades. And it could be years before another opportunity comes along, with the state’s other seat being filled by Sen. Alex Padilla, a 50-year-old Democrat who was nominated by Gov. Gavin Newsom to end Vice President Kamala Harris’ term. and was subsequently elected to his government. first full term in 2022.

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Joining the crowded primary – which includes a slew of lesser-known individuals – are four major candidates. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was considered the front-runner throughout the campaign. But a recent poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, co-sponsored by The Los Angeles Times, put former professional baseball star Steve Garvey, a Republican, in the top spot statistically. Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Katie Porter are also scrambling to earn enough support to advance to the general election in November.

The two candidates who finish in first and second place, regardless of party, will face each other in November. The same UC Berkeley poll found that if Schiff and Garvey advance, Schiff would be the overwhelming favorite to defeat Garvey.

Adam Schiff

Representative Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff speaks at a town hall hosted by the advocacy group March For Our Lives at East LA College.

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images


The 63-year-old rose to national prominence during the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, when he served as lead prosecutor. He was first elected to Congress in 2000 and has also worked for the House Intelligence Committee and the January 6 Select Committee. Schiff represents California’s 30th District in the Los Angeles area and has the former’s endorsement Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, a colossus in California politics. At the time of the approval, Pelosi said Schiff “knows well the connection between a strong democracy and a strong economy.”

Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey
Steve Garvey, Republican candidate for Senate, speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, February 27.

David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images


Garvey, 74, is a former infielder for the LA Dodgers and San Diego Padres access to the race in October injected the competition with a late dose of celebrity. More than three decades after he left baseball, the Republican has focused his Senate bid on returning the Golden State to its former glory, saying it’s “time to get off the bench.”

Katie Porter

Representative Katie Porter
Representative Katie Porter speaks at Huntington Landmark Senior Community in Huntington Beach, California, on October 17, 2022.

Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


Porter, 50, represents California’s 47th District in the Orange County region. She has been in Congress since 2019, after years of flipping a Republican seat in an area once home to Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

After arriving in Congress, she gained attention on social media for blasting corporate and government officials with her trademark whiteboard during congressional hearings. Porter has the support of her former law professor, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said Porter has a “backbone of steel.”

Barbara Lee

Representative Barbara Lee speaks to supporters at a campaign event
Representative Barbara Lee speaks to supporters during her campaign launch event at Laney College in Oakland, California on February 25, 2023.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Lee, 77, has been in Congress since 1998. The progressive icon, who regularly pushes the boundaries of liberal ideals in the state and elsewhere, represents California’s 12th District in the Oakland area. In 2001, she was the only member of Congress to vote against unlimited authorization of military force after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And she previously led the Congressional Black Caucus.

Who Does Polls Show in the Lead in the California Senate?

Although Schiff had consistently led in recent polls, Garvey clawed his way into a “statistical tie” with Schiff in the latest poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. Garvey had the support of 27% of likely voters, while Schiff had 25%. Porter trailed with 19%, while Lee had 8%.

Democrats have not lost an election in the US Senate since 1988. And ultimately, the seat is expected to remain under Democratic control in November. But Garvey could shut Porter and Lee, two prominent progressives, out of the race months earlier and undermine their campaigns before they have a chance to make inroads against Schiff.

Progressives have warned that Porter and Lee will split the vote, draw from similar bases and push Garvey into second place. Adding to the turbulent outlook for Lee and Porter is the expected low turnout in solid blue, where Republicans have made subtle inroads in recent years, losing a handful of seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections . Voters have been slow to return their ballots so far as the almost certain rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump looms in November.

Should Garvey come second in Tuesday’s primary, the vote would likely produce a coronation for Schiff, rather than the Democratic brawl that would ensue if two of the party’s members emerge after the primary. In a matchup between Schiff and Garvey, Schiff leads by fifteen points, according to UC Berkeley polls.

The candidates will have big shoes to fill after Feinstein’s 30-year term. She was first elected in 1992 and remained in office until then her death in September 2023.

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