The Republican Party in California is in sad shape, as Democrats control all eight major statewide offices and both U.S. Senate seats in the Golden State. A recently released USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll suggests that the GOP’s political drought in California is likely to continue, as no Republican candidate polls better than 10 percent in the U.S. Senate race to succeed Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.
The USC/LA Times poll found a potentially competitive primary race brewing between Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.S. House Rep. Loretta Sanchez. Harris polled at 26 percent, with Sanchez polling at 17 percent support. However, the top two Republican candidates were way behind, with former state Republican chairman Tom Del Beccaro polling just 10 percent, and GOP Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (AD-76) polling at 9 percent support.
The Republican Party was always considered a long shot to claim the Senate seat being vacated by Boxer. However, their inability to make the race even marginally competitive is a contrast to 2010, when Carly Fiorina ran a credible campaign, staying close in the polls to Boxer before eventually losing by a 52.1 to 42.3 percent margin.
Because California runs all candidates in a single multi-party primary where the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, the Republicans could be completely shut out of even fielding a candidate for U.S. Senate in November 2016.
Harris and Sanchez are both political heavyweights from California’s strong Democratic bench. The Republicans have no candidates that appear to have any realistic chance of cracking the top two in the June primary.
The California Senate race already appears to be shaping up as a run off between Harris and Sanchez, and from a national perspective, either candidate is a clear victory for the Democratic Party. The sooner they vanquish the feeble GOP opposition, the quicker the DSCC can put a check mark by California, and focus their resources on Senate races in other states. The primary election is still several months away, but all signs point to the Republican Party being knocked out of the California Senate race in June.