By Jim Ellis — Monday, Feb. 27, 2023
SenateCalifornia: Flawed Poll Shoves Schiff Into Lead — The University of California at Berkeley conducted a statewide survey of some California voters, but their results don’t provide an accurate picture of the upcoming US Senate race. The survey only tested Democrats and those identifying with the “No Party Preference” option. No Republicans were included.
The results find Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) leading Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), 23-23-8 percent, but without the Republicans, the data is not particularly useful. In a previous poll, most Republicans were headed toward Rep. Porter’s direction since they have no candidate of their own and Rep. Schiff’s national publicity during former President Trump’s impeachment hearings has made him a highly negative figure among conservative voters.
Since the California system features an all-party qualifying election, not including Republicans in the polling universe — since they certainly can vote in the jungle primary — fails to provide a salient snapshot of how the race would unfold if the election were today. More inclusive polling is needed to develop better insight into this developing campaign.
CA-27: New Contender Emerges — California Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) is one of the few House members who has won multiple terms in a district that favors the opposite political party. One reason is because he has defeated the same opponent, former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D), in three consecutive elections. Now, another contender has emerged. Former NASA chief of staff and ex-Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides (D) has announced that he will run for the seat in 2024. For Democrats to have a chance to capture this D+8 seat (FiveThirtyEight data organization projection), they will need to field a candidate other than Smith.
CA-30: Yet Another — Rep. Schiff’s open seat has been the most popular California early congressional race. Now, a tenth candidate has announced. West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne (D) confirmed that he will join the open seat contest.
The major candidates, all Democrats, are state Sen. Anthony Portatino (D-La Canada), state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), former state Assemblyman Mike Feuer, Los Angeles Unified School District Board member Nick Melvoin, and actor Ben Savage. Two advancing from this group to a double-Democrat general election is highly likely.
RI-1: Special Election Complications — The Daily Kos Elections site is featuring a story on RI-1 that indicates the special election to replace resigning Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) is complicated. Rhode Island has not seen a congressional special election since 1967, and the Federal MOVE Act, which requires states to provide 45 days notice to overseas and military voters before an election, is in conflict with the state’s election calendar governing such vacancies. Rep. Cicilline announced earlier in the week that he will resign June 1 to accept the position of president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, a well established charitable nonprofit organization.
According to the RI Secretary of State, it appears Gov. Dan McKee (D) would only have two options to be in compliance with both Rhode Island and federal election law. Therefore, the special primary election could be no earlier than Aug. 8, with the special general on Oct. 3. He could also call a primary on Sept. 5 and make the special general concurrent with municipal elections on Nov. 7. Therefore, we can expect the RI-1 seat to remain vacant for a relatively long period once Congressman Cicilline resigns.