Poll: Porter, Schiff lead Calif. Senate field. Will GOP breakthrough to Nov. 2024?

Two Democratic lawmakers currently lead the field for California’s open Senate seat, but pollsters warn about the early nature of the data and lack of GOP consolidation.

A new poll finds Southern California Reps. Katie Porter (D–Irvine) and Adam Schiff (D–Glendale) leading the pack to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her short-term successor Laphonza Butler.

Despite that, at least two contenders are making gains in the race, leaving pollsters to deem the contest wide open for a November 2024 runoff.


Digging into the numbers: According to the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, Porter won 17 percent support statewide, while Schiff experienced a four-point drop to 16 percent since the previous survey in August.

  • Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D–Oakland) support has increased to 9 percent.
  • Former Los Angeles Dodger star Steve Garvey, who announced his candidacy in October and is likely the GOP’s frontrunner, has seen an increase in support from 7 percent to 10 percent.

Yes, but: Despite the gains made by Lee and Garvey, the poll indicates that 30 percent of voters are still undecided, making the March 5 primary race highly competitive.

  • Factoring in the fundraising battle, advantage goes to Schiff, who has raised $5.9 million in the third quarter and has $32 million in campaign cash on hand.
  • Porter has raised $3.4 million and has $12 million in cash on hand, while Lee has raised $1 million and has $1.3 million in cash on hand.
  • Garvey’s campaign finances are not yet available.

On the right: The Republican field includes Garvey, businessman James Bradley, and lawyer Eric Early.

  • If Republican voters consolidate their support around Garvey, he could emerge as a clear the frontrunner and secure a spot in the November runoff.
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