(Left) U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to supporters at the kickoff rally for his two-week ‘California for All Tour’ in Burbank, Calif., on Feb. 11, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images); (Right) Democratic Congressional candidate Katie Porter greets supporters at an event in Irvine, Calif., on Nov. 6, 2018. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
Two democratic U.S. Representatives dominate the field of candidates seeking to fill the late Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat, according to a recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California—a nonpartisan, independent think tank.
Three members of Congress are in the race for the seat currently held by Laphonza Butler—who Gov. Gavin Newsom chose to replace Ms. Feinstein after the long-serving Senator’s death in Washington, D.C. Sept. 29.
Representatives Adam Schiff and Katie Porter received the most support in the poll, at 21 and 18 percent, respectively, and Barbara Lee trailed with 9 percent. According to the researchers, former Dodger great and Republican Steve Garvey—who announced his candidacy Oct. 10, and Ms. Butler—who indicated Oct. 19 that she would not be seeking election—were not included in the survey.
Republican candidates received less support, including Los Angeles-based attorney Eric Early at 6 percent and veteran and healthcare executive James Bradley at 5 percent.
Given the state’s election rules that call for a March primary to identify two candidates for the November ballot, researchers anticipate a guaranteed win for Democrats—like what occurred in 2016 and 2018 when the party filled the ballot.
“After the March senate primary, it is likely that two Democrats will move forward,” pollsters wrote in a press release announcing the results.
The survey taken between Oct. 3 and Oct. 19 asked 2,250 adults across the state, nearly 1,400 of them likely voters, about their political preferences.
In terms of the presidential election, 53 percent of Republican voters preferred former President Donald Trump, far outpacing second place—Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s 12 percent.
In the Golden State, the poll additionally found, more than two to every one respondent in all parties preferred President Joe Biden to the former president—with 60 percent favoring Mr. Biden to 29 percent for Mr. Trump, though researchers noted that some respondents would prefer an alternative option.
“A highly polarized electorate is evident in the huge partisan divide in presidential preferences,” the researchers wrote. “But there is also some appetite for a third choice.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Calif., speaks at a "Just Majority" nationwide bus tour press conference to call for reforms to the U.S. Supreme Court in Oakland, Calif., on May 21, 2023. (Kimberly White/Getty Images for Demand Justice)
A vast majority of respondents, 93 percent, are paying attention to the election cycle, with 25 percent saying they are following the news very closely.
Political divisions in the state were reflected in responses, with 43 percent identifying as middle of the road, while 32 percent said they were liberal, and 24 percent said they considered themselves conservative.
The poll also showed more of a shift to the center—or no party preference—with more saying they identified with neither party, 39 percent, than as Democrat, 32 percent, or Republican, 20 percent.
Most respondents reported holding some interest in politics, with 14 percent expressing a great deal, 32 percent reporting a fair amount, about a third saying they have some, and 20 percent expressing no interest.
In terms of media consumption, 60 percent said they never read a local newspaper and 28 percent said they never watch the local news. No questions were asked pertaining to internet news preferences or habits.