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Adam Schiff and his opponent are now tied as California Senate race heats up

By Jimmy Turner
March 2, 2024

Recent polling data indicates a surprising shift in California's Senate primary race, with Republican Steve Garvey now neck and neck with Democrat Adam Schiff.

A poll by the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at the University of California, Berkeley, reveals Garvey garnering 27% of support, closely followed by Schiff at 25%, as The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, Democrats Katie Porter and Barbara Lee are trailing, with Porter securing 19% and Lee at 8%.

The Dynamics of California's Nonpartisan Primary

California's unique nonpartisan primary system ensures that the two leading candidates will proceed to the November runoff regardless of their party affiliation.

This race is particularly significant as candidates vie to fill the vacancy left by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Nevertheless, Sen. Laphonza Butler is serving as an interim replacement.

Schiff, previously ahead in the polls, is perceived to have indirectly boosted Garvey's profile. Therefore, it anticipates a more straightforward victory against a Republican rather than a fellow Democrat.

Voter Trends and Electoral Insights

The latest Berkeley IGS poll underscores a significant uptick in support for Garvey. This is especially in the race for the partial-term Senate seat. Based on the results, Schiff leads at 29% to 23%. Porter follows at 20%.

This surge is partly attributed to fewer Republican candidates in the partial-term election. Hence, this simplifies choices for GOP voters.

With the primary election imminent, turnout appears subdued. Moreso, a notable skew towards older voters was found.

Data shows that nearly two-thirds of the likely voters are aged 50 and above. Younger voters under 40 are vastly outnumbered.

Garvey benefits most from this demographic trend, holding a substantial lead among Republican voters and proving popular with older demographics, white voters, and homeowners.

The poll, conducted between February 22 and 27, surveyed 6,536 registered voters in California, including 3,304 who had already cast their ballots or were likely to vote, with a margin of error of about plus or minus 2 percentage points.

This electoral snapshot reveals a tightly contested race, highlighting the unpredictability of California's political landscape as the primary approach.