Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff is narrowly leading the race to fill the Senate seat of 89-year-old Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, early polling shows.
Schiff polled at 22% compared to 20% for California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, 6% for California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee and 4% for California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, with 39% of voters undecided. Only Democratic and non-partisan voters were included in the survey conducted by UC Berkeley and the LA Times, the outlet reported Thursday. (RELATED: Adam Schiff’s Office Repeatedly Tried To Get Twitter To Censor Posts, Documents Show)
New California Senate poll:
Schiff – 22%
Porter – 20%
Lee – 6%
Khanna – 4%
Remainder are undecided. Primary is in March 2024, more than a year from now.
Conducted Feb. 14-20 w/ 7,512 registered voters.https://t.co/ENACSd5sB7
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) February 23, 2023
Older and moderate voters are much more likely to support Schiff, while younger and more progressive voters favor Porter, the poll shows. 42% of those 65 and older back Schiff and 17% support Porter. 27% of voters aged 50-64 prefer Schiff over 19% for Porter.
Voters aged 18-29, 30-39 and 40-49 all support Porter over Schiff. Strongly liberal voters prefer Porter, with 31% of them supporting her compared to 20% for Schiff. Somewhat liberal voters are virtually split between the two and moderate voters prefer Schiff, with 22% supporting him and 10% choosing Porter.
The Democratic establishment in the state has rallied behind Schiff, who already received former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement. Three former California Reps. and over a dozen state and local lawmakers have also endorsed him.
Schiff rose to prominence for supporting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into former President Donald Trump as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He frequently touted the debunked Steele Dossier, even reading parts of it into the Congressional record, and repeatedly claimed Mueller would find collusion between Trump and the Russians during the 2016 election.
Schiff compared the “Russiagate” scandal to Watergate, despite being told by numerous intelligence officials there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia, according to transcripts released in 2020.
After Mueller found no collusion between Trump and Russia, Schiff played a prominent role in Trump’s first impeachment for a phone call he made with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. The phone call became public when a whistleblower within the CIA made it known because of his concerns about Trump allegedly demanding Zelenskyy investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.
Schiff was aware of the whistleblower complaint before it was publicized and a staffer reportedly offered “guidance” to the whistleblower. He received national attention as the lead House impeachment manager during Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, which Schiff touts on his campaign website.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans removed Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee for his actions. Schiff announced a run for the senate soon after losing his committee seat.
California’s top-two primary system allows voters to select candidates of any party and the two with the most support advance to a general election. No Republicans have announced their intentions to run for the contested Senate seat.