Republican Challenger Closing in On Democrats

( – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) died in September at the age of 90. She’d experienced a number of health setbacks before her death, and several Democrats announced they were going to run to replace her. The late senator held the seat for over 30 years and easily won her last election. Her seat is considered safe by most political experts; after all, she’s won every election since 1992. However, a Republican candidate is gaining in the polls.

Former Baseball Player Makes Gains

In October, former San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers player Steve Garvey entered the California Senate race. It didn’t take long for the sports star to make gains in the polls. According to a POLITICO | Morning Consult poll released at the end of 2023, Garvey is in second place in the March 5 primary poll with 19%. Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) has 17%, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has 14%.

Garvey’s jump in the polls is interesting because he has not made many public appearances since entering the race in October. His Democratic rivals are in panic mode, though.

The Mercury News reported that Porter and Schiff have released fundraising pleas that point to Garvey as a reason to donate. Schiff’s campaign stated that a GOP “candidate is surging in the polls for California’s Senate race.” His camp went on to say that it was a scenario that the California Republican Party has been dreaming of.

Porter’s campaign warned her supporters that Garvey could prevent her from “qualifying for the general election.”

California Primary

On March 5, the top two candidates will move on to the general election. If Garvey wins second place, the general election will be between a Republican and Democrat, instead of two Democrats. The state is so deeply Blue that sometimes Conservatives are completely shut out from statewide races, so any time a Republican is in second place going into the primaries, it shows that the candidate is strong.

Although Garvey is leading Porter and Lee, he is still behind Schiff by about nine points. The Democratic congressman is widely seen as the likely winner of the Senate race. He has created a name for himself while in the lower chamber, especially during former President Donald Trump’s tenure. He even led one of the impeachments.

Still, Garvey is performing well. Thad Kousser, a political science professor at the University of California-San Diego, told The Mercury News that the former baseball player’s name recognition and “strong showing in recent polling gives him a strong chance of flying the red flag in November.”

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