Since the last report by the Globe in May, the 2024 race for U.S. Senate for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat has continued to evolve, with more candidates looking for a possible run, others confirming they’re out, and some making plays to garner more attention early on. The lines are still blurred for many with a growing number of Californians wanting Feinstein to resign early due to her health and a likely growing field heading into the summer. The Globe takes another look at where the race currently stands in mid-June 2023.
Who is in?
Right now, the block of four major candidates hasn’t changed, with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) all still running on the Democratic side and Attorney and 2022 GOP candidate for Attorney General Eric Early still the central Republican.
Two new polls have also shown that, if the primary were held today, that the race in November would be between Porter and Early. In a Berkeley IGS poll in late May, Early led with 18% of the vote, followed by Porter with 17%, Schiff with 14%, and Lee with a distant 9% 4th place, with 32% of voters still undecided. An FM3 poll had similar results, with 27% for Early, 24% for Porter, 21% for Schiff, and only 11% for Lee.
Who may be in?
A few big names popped up in the past month, although none have yet to give a final yay or nay
For the Democrats, Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA), Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Governor Gavin Newsom have all not ruled out runs as of June 9th. For the GOP, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, 2022 California State Controller candidate Lanhee Chen, and State Senator and 2022 Governor Candidate Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) are all also still not officially out.
The big name currently looking at a run is former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres MVP Steve Garvey. While he has yet to officially join the race, he is looking at a run next year. As he is a Republican, it would not only add another big name to the list, but it would give the GOP a big name candidate and the first real Republican battle for a Senate seat in years with Early currently polling well.
Who is out?
None of the primary names on the list gave a definite no in the past month. That said, one very big name was briefly considered until they finally said no.
As Governor Newsom is still playing around with picking a possible successor to Feinstein if she resigns, he has put himself in a corner by only picking black women as candidates. As an added limiting factor, he is looking for those who would only serve the rest of Feinstein’s term and then not run in 2024 as to not upset the already delicate candidate balance,
Who is backing who?
Not much has changed in terms of endorsements. Schiff and Lee currently hold dozens of endorsements ranging from the federal level to the local level, with a smattering of celebrities and unions backing each as well, although it should be noted that Lee holds more out of state House endorsements while Schiff holds the vast majority of California House members. Porter, meanwhile, still only has a handful of endorsements, although it should be noted that, despite this, she is still leading in polls over Lee and Schiff.
GOP candidates have yet to get many endorsements, although since the field is still forming, many are currently still waiting to see the full field.
What is coming up next?
While the Democrats seem pretty solid in terms of candidates right now, the GOP is likely to see a few candidates come up in the coming days. New polls and new fundraising results are also expected to come in later this month and in early July.
Right now, the possible resignation of Feinstein and the inclusion of Garvey in the race are being watched by many, as either could significantly upturn the race. And that’s not to mention possible big surprises, like another celebrity run or Newsom announcing a run for President, also changing things up.
The candidates are by no means set into stone yet, and for everyone in the race, it will be appearances and fundraisers for their summer plans.
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