Home>Articles>The 2024 California U.S. Senate Race: Where It Currently Stands

U.S. Capitol. (Photo: Architect of the Capitol)

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

A Quiet August is likely the calm before the storm this fall

By Evan Symon, September 10, 2023 1:13 pm

Since the last report by the Globe in August, the 2024 U.S. Senate race in California for Senator Feinstein’s seat has slowed down some. However, the last month did bring a few new changes and, as what is now a pattern, a continued back and forth between the frontrunners in the race. We are now less than half a year until the March primary. Let’s take a look-see.

Who is in?

There are still 9 Democrats on the board for the ballot, with the big three remaining Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA),  Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), and  Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Besides former Google executive and investor Lexi Reese, there are no other Dems really polling high, and no one really on the horizon. That’s three well known members of Congress. You’d have to be really big in the party to jump in this late in the game.

On the GOP, they are still at seven. Attorney and 2022 GOP candidate for Attorney General Eric Early is still the main Republican in the race. However,  businessman and Coast Guard veteran James Bradley has been having better showings in polls recently.

Two third party candidates have also filed, but, polling wise, they haven’t been up there. Right now it is still a free-for-all between Schiff, Porter, Lee, Early, Bradley, and Reese.

Who may be in?

All major Democrats who were rumored to still have an interest were out as of last month, with no real peeps from any others wanting to get in last minute. Again, Schiff, Lee, Porter, and to an extent, Reese, are just polling too well and have been getting a lot of donations and support.

For the GOP, Bradley has still yet to come in officially as a candidate, although he has filed his paper work. The big question though is former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres MVP Steve Garvey. He has yet to move beyond expressing interest, but he also hasn’t said that he is pulling out, and his name has been part of recent polls. It’s wait and see on him. A few others, like State Senator and 2022 Governor Candidate Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), are speculatory still, as they have not given a firm yes or no on running.

Third party candidates have also been pretty quiet, with no major names being put out there in the last month.

Who is out?

August was pretty stagnant on any remaining potential candidates dropping out. Bradley and Garvey are the biggest names still out there, and like we said before, we’re just waiting on them.

Who is backing who?

Lee and Schiff seem to be in an arms race for endorsements, and between them, have gotten almost every Californian lawmakers sans Newsom to take a side. Porter has a few, including Attorney General Rob Bonta, but it is nowhere near the dozens of Congressional members, Senators, Assemblymembers, unions, mayors, and other local officials that Schiff and Lee have. Here’s only a partial list of where endorsements are at right now for the big three.

For the GOP, they are still waiting on final candidates and closer to the election polling data. Endorsements for them will likely come out in a few months, but endorsements haven’t really been a main factor. Lee has a ton, and yet she is still a distant third for Democrats in polling.

Hey, speaking of which…

What is coming up next?

Polling for Porter got a bit rocky this month. Her heir apparent in Congress, Senator Dave Min (D-Orange County), got sentenced for three months probation for a DUI incident. His support has since plummeted in the last few weeks, with a deflection on Republican candidate Scott Baugh in the district over an old speech over ‘wokeism’ failing to win him back any points. Min has thus made Porter’s stock go down a bit. Meanwhile, Schiff is still riding high amongst Democrats over his censure in June and his top showing in fundraising in July.

All three are also still fighting for union support, as seen on Labor Day when Schiff, Porter, and Lee all stumped for labor unions.

A poll released Thursday by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) had two different questions asking people who they support, one including Garvey and one not. So let’s take a look there. The non-Garvey poll had Schiff retaking the lead from a PPIC poll in July with 20%, Porter with 17%, Bradley with 10%, Lee and Early with 7%, and Reese with 1%. With Garvey, Schiff and Porter still had 20% and 17% respectively. However, Lee, Garvey, and Bradley all tied next with 7%, followed by Early with 5% and Reese with 1%.

Broken down by where party members voted, Schiff had 31% amongst Democrats, with Porter getting 26% and Lee only 11%.  On the Republican side, Garvey got 21%, followed by Bradley with 18% and Early with 15%. Interestingly, Schiff also had a bit of GOP support, with 3% of Republicans saying they would vote for him.

All told, Schiff and Porter seem to be emerging as the top candidates for March. Lee, despite heavy Democratic support in the form of endorsements, has failed to really draw in much support outside of the Bay Area. The GOP still has enough support that, when focused on one candidate, they could likely  knock out either Porter or Schiff in the primary. Schiff and Porter have money too.

This fall will bring likely the first whispers of debates, as well as a lot of fundraising so that they have cash in hand for the first few months of 2024. But a lot can happen in six months.

October will likely bring an even clearer picture, as third quarter fundraising results will be due, as well as more polls.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *