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Republican Steve Garvey leading Adam Schiff in California Senate primary: poll

The seat is currently held by Democratic Sen. Laphonza Butler, whom California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed in 2023 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Published: March 1, 2024 5:31pm

Republican Steve Garvey has eked out a narrow lead over Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff in California's open Senate primary, according to a recent survey.

The seat is currently held by Democratic Sen. Laphonza Butler, whom California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed in 2023 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She has opted against seeking election to a full term.

Garvey earned 27% support to Schiff's 25% in a survey from the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies. Democratic Rep. Katie Porter earned 19% while Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee earned 8%. California has non-partisan primary system in which the top two finishers proceed to the November election. 

"These findings represent a dramatic change in the standings when compared to earlier polls in the Senate race. For example, just six weeks ago the Berkeley IGS Poll had Schiff leading both Senate elections, with Garvey trailing behind Porter in third," read a press release from the IGS. "A big part of Garvey’s appeal to primary election voters relates to voter perceptions that he will be tougher on the nation’s immigration problem than the other candidates. Nearly all of his supporters (94%) say this attribute was very important to them in deciding whom to support in the Senate race."

The general contest is expected to favor Democrats and Schiff led Garvey 53% to 38% in a hypothetical matchup.

Conducted Feb. 22-27, the survey questioned 6,536 registered voters in the golden State and has an estimated margin of error of +/- 2% at the 95% confidence level.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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