Schiff holds clear lead in CA Senate race with Garvey, Porter and Lee in a dead heat

Schiff, the 12-term Democrat from Burbank, leads with 28 percent of likely voters, including those who are undecided but leaning toward supporting him. Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Garvey follows with 19 percent, while Porter has 17 percent and Lee notches 14 percent — a statistical three-way tie.

Republicans James Bradley and Eric Early lag behind with 7 percent apiece, while Christina Pascucci, a Democrat and former news anchor, is at 4 percent.

The findings show a notable bump for Garvey from previous polls of the race. Since he
declared his candidacy
in October, he has kept a minimal campaign presence with limited public appearances. The top Democrats, meanwhile, have been criss-crossing the state most of the year to woo their party’s base.

Breaking into the top two would be a coup for California Republicans, who have struggled in statewide races and risk being locked out of the contest in November if Garvey is unable to consolidate enough GOP voters.

Schiff’s lead is powered by advantages with Democrats, older voters and men. Among self-identified Democratic voters, Schiff (44 percent) easily outpaces both Porter (24 percent) and Lee (21 percent).

Porter and Lee are competitive among younger voters: The three Democrats are essentially tied with voters born in 1997 or later. But among seniors aged 65 and older, Schiff has a big lead with 37 percent to Garvey’s 22 percent, with Lee (13 percent) and Porter (12 percent) well behind.

Of the three major Democratic candidates, Schiff is the only man, and he is the top choice of 54 percent of male Democrats in the poll. But Schiff (35 percent) also has a slight lead over both Porter (29 percent) and Lee (27 percent) among Democratic women.

The primary has also revealed ideological differences among the Democratic candidates, and Schiff (45 percent) is easily the top choice of likely primary voters who describe themselves as liberals, leading Porter (23 percent) and Lee (20 percent).

Lee, the only major African American candidate, does have a slim advantage with Black voters. The Oakland lawmaker leads Schiff, 31 percent to 24 percent.

While the three Democrats have expressed few differences on policy, the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has been a rare flashpoint in the race. Lee, an anti-war icon,
set herself apart
by calling for a cease-fire in the immediate aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack — echoing the rallying cry of her party’s left flank.

Schiff opposes a cease-fire, arguing Israel has a right to defend itself even as it should strive to limit casualties among Palestinian civilians. That position aligns with the Biden administration’s stance. Porter also followed the president’s lead until earlier this week, when
she shifted
to promote a “bilateral cease-fire” to end the violence.

In the poll, likely primary voters are split: 40 percent say the U.S. is doing the right amount to help Israel in its war with Hamas, while 27 percent say it is doing too much for Israel and 19 percent say it’s not doing enough.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to say the U.S. isn’t doing enough for Israel, but the differences are modest.

Thirty-three percent of Porter voters say the U.S. is currently doing too much to help Israel, slightly more than the share of Schiff (28 percent), Garvey (26 percent) and Lee (20 percent) backers.

The POLITICO | Morning Consult poll (
) was conducted Dec. 15-19 — mostly before Porter announced her support for a cease-fire.

The poll surveyed 858 likely voters online through a combination of opt-in sampling methods and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Shepard reported from Arlington, Virginia.

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