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The 2024 California U.S. Senate Race Schiff v. Garvey: Where It Currently Stands

A cancelled debate and a surprise endorsement were blips in an otherwise quiet May

By Evan Symon, June 7, 2024 6:23 am

Since the last update in early May, California’s U.S. Senate race has gone through a relatively quiet month. However, the race made it into the news cycle multiple times. Most noteworthy was the effects of campus protests over the Gaza War on the race, as they managed to shut a few things down for the candidates. With 5 months to go before election day on November 5th, this is where the Senate race between Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and former pro baseball star Steve Garvey (R) stands now:

What have the candidates been up to?

Besides for a few noteworthy events popping up, both Schiff and Garvey were fairly pretty quiet through most of May. Garvey is getting ready for the summer and fall election season, but also went after Schiff for several of his choices. However, Garvey also faced some criticism for not attending the state GOP convention last month as well, instead focusing on the campaign. He’s also continued praise and support for Israel.

Schiff, meanwhile, has been bogged down in Congressional duties. Most notably, he praised the conviction of former President Donald Trump late in May, and was one of the main Congressional leaders asked about the ruling because of his longtime opposition to Trump.

“This is an affirmation that the rule of law works,” said Schiff late last month. “That it can be applied to everyone, including a former president. He has really played rope-a-dope in the courts and gotten away with it until today. I do think justice has finally caught up with Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean there won’t be appeals and further efforts at delay, but he will be forever branded a convicted felon, and that’s a pretty substantial verdict, let alone for a presidential candidate. But I think all of these things, many of which we warned about during that impeachment trial, that if he were not removed from office, he would go on to do worse and worse and worse.”

It isn’t quite campaign season yet, but they have both remained in the news in some capacity.

Who is backing who?

While both candidates picked up some endorsements in May, Schiff made headlines in mid-May when Congresswoman and Senate primary candidate Barbara Lee (D-CA) decided to back Schiff. In March, Lee only secured 9.8% of the vote, a distant 4th place to Schiff, Garvey and Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA). But while Porter backed Schiff soon after the primary, Lee bided her time, checking in with progressive allies that Schiff would be in their favor in Washington.

In a statement, Lee noted that “Californians have a clear choice this November in who they want representing them in the Senate — a Trump apologist or a defender of democracy. Now more than ever, we need to elect people like Adam Schiff, who will stand up against the autocrats looking to divide this country and dismantle our democracy. For decades in Congress, I’ve worked alongside Adam to deliver for Californians. I’m honored to endorse him for the United States Senate.”

However, Garvey didn’t take the endorsement lightly, especially after Schiff accepted it. In his own statement, he denounced Schiff for taking the endorsement, saying that “Adam Schiff says he looks forward to continuing to work with Barbara Lee, whose agenda is a permanent ceasefire with Hamas, out-of-control crime, $50 minimum wage, and a failed track record with the Latino community. Californians loudly rejected Barbara Lee’s pro-Hamas, pro-criminal agenda in the primary and I look forward to seeing them reject Adam Schiff and this agenda in November.”

Other big endorsements are out there, and they will likely fall into place soon. Especially state and local GOP organizations, which Garvey would need to keep his base support strong.

How is polling going?

No new polls came out in May, despite many being expected. The presidential race and Trump’s conviction has thrown a wrench into polling questions, with many pulling away from Congressional and Senate races for a short period while questions are instead centered around Trump and Biden. June should see a pick up.

As of June 6th, the last poll came out a month ago, with a PPIC poll finding that Schiff is currently over Garvey 61%-37%. However, as pollsters noted, that poll should be given a grain of salt considered their past track record in polling.

What is coming up next?

Well, there was supposed to be a debate at UC Berkeley between the two this fall. But earlier this month the University cancelled it due to safety concerns stemming from a polarized presidential election and Gaza protests. Other debates will, of course, take their place. But still, both candidates have been wanting a one on one for awhile, and UC Berkeley taking back the debate put something of a strain there.

June and July is when candidates start to enter ‘candidate’ mode, so expect some of that. It is still a bit too early for lawn signs and campaign ads playing every 30 seconds on TV and Youtube, but both candidates will have plans. For Schiff, it is to lock down as much as LA as he can as well as the Bay Area. Lee and former speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should give him an in there. As for Garvey, it will be base and improvement area focus. That means LA, Inland Empire, San Diego, Orange County, and going into California’s breadbasket all the way up to Sacramento. Northern California from Redding up while staying out of Humboldt County is also likely.

Expect June to be quiet for a bit, but with increasing chatter. Look at it this way, it won’t be this quiet politically speaking for a long time to come.

Election day this year will be Tuesday November 5th.

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12 thoughts on “The 2024 California U.S. Senate Race Schiff v. Garvey: Where It Currently Stands

  1. Disappointed in Garvey. Schiff will win if the campaign continues to be low key. Schiff is for higher taxes, higher gas prices, more redistribution of wealth, more DEI, more useless homeless spending, more unaudited money for Ukraine, more spying and censorship by the federal government, more environmental crackdowns, and for putting political opponents in jail- all issues which are favored only by a minority. Garvey should be constantly attacking Schiff in a high profile way.

  2. The saddest part is Garvey is the best alternative we can come up with. What does that say about California?
    No one gives a rip anymore.

  3. Hang on, it’s not over yet! The PPIC poll numbers are meant to take the wind out of our sails —- that’s their job and what they have always done, the skunks. Dismiss it, put it out of your mind; it’s not real. It’s only June, for crying out loud, no doubt there are many surprises in store. What’s the expression, the Garvey people “are keeping their powder dry?” It’s good to be forced to strategize when your campaign is not as awash in money as Pencil Neck’s is.

  4. I would like Garvey to take some cues from Kari Lake of Arizona. She does not hold back. She may take some flack at times from the lefties but she is a fighter! Is Garvey?
    Take this quieter part of the campaign season and get vocal. Start traveling this state send out the surrogates. Who are Garvey’s surrogates? Where is the CA GOP.
    I believe as the truth is revealed on the Russia hoax, Schiff should be vulnerable. At least in a sane world!
    Come on Garvey, swing that bat!

  5. If Garvey was a serious candidate, and if the CA Rep Party was a serious political party, Garvey would not have taken May and June off. He would have been traveling the state by bus, producing social media videos of the many problems and disasters caused by, and interviewing the Californians harmed by, Dem Party malgovernance.

    Garvey and the CA Reps would be broadcasting at maximum volume how the radical, far left Dem Party voted to protect illegal alien pedophiles instead of California children.

    h/t to Bill Essayli for making the Dems show they prefer illegal alien pedophiles over California children

    But, alas, Garvey is the latest Rep designated loser, and the CA Rep Party is the California farm team for the “Washington Generals,” the faux team that plays the Harlem Globetrotters in their shows.

  6. The commercials showing Schiff to be a pathological liar almost write themselves. He has left a huge steaming pile of lies about “RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA” etc. on video. Garvey should hit Schiff over and over on the lies, with commercials mercilessly pounding on both the lies and his “unfortunate” pencil neck visuals.

  7. To have genuine representative democracy, there first and foremost needs to be a truly democratic electoral system for the citizenry. The First Past The Post [FPTP] ballot largely masquerades as real democracy. And, of course, many voters get to wait in long, bad-weather lineups to participate.

    While the FPTP ballot may technically qualify as democratic within the democracy spectrum, it is the PR system thus governance that’s truly representative, regardless of political ideology.

    FPTP does seem to serve corporate lobbyists well, however. I believe it is why such powerful interests generally resist attempts at changing from FPTP to proportional representation electoral systems of governance, the latter which dilutes corporate influence.

    Low-representation FPTP-elected governments, in which a relatively small portion of the country’s populace is actually electorally represented, are likely the easiest for lobbyists to manipulate or ‘buy’.

    The FPTP electoral experience makes me cynically recall and recite ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine’s very memorable line in the film Our Brand Is Crisis: “If voting changed anything [in favor of the weak/poor/disenfranchised] they’d have made it illegal.”

    Ergo, any U.S. president who’d make a serious attempt at implementing truly humane, progressive policies — notably universal single-payer healthcare, a significant reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, military spending, a genuine anti-war effort, and increasing the minimum wage while also reigning in Wall Street abuse/corruption, etcetera — would likely be assassinated.

  8. Do you think the left realizes if they elect Schiff, California will have two straight male Senators for at least the next quarter century? When Newsome became governor, we had two female Senators. I wonder what happened to all the talk about white privilege and the importance giving women of color a voice. I guess it’s more important to have the right tools in place.

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