Schiff, Porter atop field in new California Senate survey

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) lead a new poll measuring voter preferences ahead of the 2024 U.S. Senate race in California, but a plurality of likely primary voters in the state are still undecided.

In a Berkeley IGS poll released Thursday, Schiff led with 20 percent support among likely voters, Porter followed with 17 percent support, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) had 7 percent support and Democratic tech executive Lexie Reese had 1 percent support. Among Republican candidates, James Bradley received 10 percent support and Eric Early received 7 percent support.

Thirty-four percent of respondents said they were undecided, while 4 percent indicated their preference was for “others.”

In a version of the question that included former Los Angeles Dodgers star Steve Garvey, a Republican, the breakdown of Democrats’ support remained the same, but other GOP candidates saw their support dip. Garvey received 7 percent support, Bradley got 7 percent and Early had 5 percent. The share of voters who were undecided dipped by 2 points, to 32 percent.

The U.S. Senate race in California has become one of the most closely watched in the country, and candidates are looking to seize the opportunity to run for one of the state’s two Senate positions after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced she would retire at the end of her term.

The state is solidly Democratic and has not elected a Republican senator in more than 30 years.

The poll indicated Schiff benefited from being the most known of the candidates, with 75 percent of respondents being able to offer an opinion on him. His image was largely positive, with 43 percent viewing him favorably and 32 percent unfavorably.

Porter was the next best-known candidate, with 57 percent offering an opinion. Of those respondents, twice as many viewed her favorably as did unfavorably, at 38 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Lee followed, with 48 percent offering an opinion of her. Twenty-nine percent viewed her favorably, and 19 percent viewed her unfavorably.

While both Schiff and Porter poll well among liberals, Porter polls better among those who identify as “strongly liberal,” with 35 percent of that group favoring Porter and 26 percent favoring Schiff. Among those who identify as “somewhat liberal,” meanwhile, Schiff polls best, with 35 percent support, while Porter follows with 24 percent. Schiff also polls better among “moderates,” 20 percent of whom favor him compared to 13 percent who favor Porter.

Porter saw an advantage over Schiff in terms of the support of young voters, but Schiff was supported by older voters. Voters ages 18-29 supported Schiff at 6 percent, Porter at 27 percent and Lee at 11 percent. The largest share of these voters was the undecided, at 45 percent.

The online poll was conducted from Aug. 24-29 and included 6,030 registered voters in California, of whom 3,113 are likely to vote in March’s primary election. The poll’s findings are based on the sample of likely voters and have an estimated margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

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