Over 15% Calif. Voters Have No Plans To Vote In Election For First Open Senate Seat In 24 Years

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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A new poll released by USC Dornsife and The LA Times shows that over 15 percent over California voters have no plans to vote in the Senate race this election cycle, likely as a result of a one-party contest that resulted from the state’s jungle primary.

A jungle primary is a system where  candidates,  regardless of party, can run against one another and more than one person from each party can participate. However, only the top two vote winners go on to the general election regardless of party. Democrat against a Democrat or a Republican against a Republican can happen. Louisiana also has a jungle primary.

Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, both Democrats, emerged as the top two vote getters out of 34 candidates in California’s jungle primary on June 7 to replace retiring U.S. Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

According to the poll, as many California voters want “none of the above” as those who prefer Sanchez for the state’s open Senate seat.

Additionally, 16 percent of registered voters, mainly self-identified Republicans and independents, say they will choose to skip the first open seat race for the Senate the Golden State has held in 24 years. This is around the same number of voters who support Sanchez.

The state’s jungle primary system is still relatively new and was hatched from a successful 2010 ballot measure, but not everyone is pleased with it, saying the party that runs fewer candidates will always have the better advantage.

Meanwhile, support for Sanchez’s opponent, Harris, the poll shows, is at 30 percent and over a third “don’t know” who they will vote for on November 8.

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