Sunday, May 8, 2016

California Senate race tight

Capital Weekly is out with a poll for the California Senate primary and the results look really good for Kamala Harris and daunting for Loretta Sanchez. Harris leads with 32% of the vote, while Sanchez only has 9%. Ron Unz and Tom Del Becarro, two Republicans, have 8% and 6%. I said the results look really good for Kamala Harris but there was no question she'd finish first and it doesn't matter how much she wins by. She'll still have to face an opponent in November. She'll be an overwhelming favorite over any Republican or a healthy favorite over Sanchez. Even though it looks like she'll swamp Sanchez in the primary, a statewide election between two Democrats is uncharted territory. Even Jerry Brown only won re-election 60%-40% over a relatively unknown Republican. So that 40% would be up for grabs. If Sanchez can get most of it, she could win.

But first she has to get to November. Sanchez benefits from the leading Republicans being relatively unknown and the shear volume of Republicans on the ballot. Were one of the Republicans to bust out that candidate would easily beat Sanchez because she's running weak with Democrats. This survey indicates that might not happen. I put Sanchez at 15-16% based on these results. I'd put Ron Unz at 14%, Tom Del Beccaro around 11%, and Def Sundheim at 7%. Sanchez would make it by the skin of her teeth. From an electoral standpoint two Democrats running statewide would be fascinating. We've seen two Democrats run in campaigns for mayor or congress and them trying to get Republican votes hasn't always gone smoothly. On another blog someone thought the Hispanic make-up of this survey was low. It isn't. In the 2012 primary the Hispanic make-up was 13%, just as it is here. Paul Mitchell of PDI writes for Capital Weekly, and I assume they consulted with him. If Hispanic turn-out is higher it won't be by much.

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