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Sanchez closes Gap on Harris for US Senate; within 4 Points on SurveyUSA Poll

Loretta Sanchez, Kamala Harris, photo credit: LA Times

Loretta Sanchez, Kamala Harris, photo credit: LA Times

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange) has closed the gap against California AG Kamala Harris in the latest SurveyUSA poll of likely voters from March 30 to April 3.  The poll, which surveyed the highest number of likely voters compared to several Field polls and a recent LA Times poll, shows Harris leading with 26 percent to Sanchez’s 22 percent.  The margin of error is just 2.8%.

The poll has the largest sampling of voters to date and shows Harris losing ground as Sanchez picks up steam.

The Mercury News reports that Californians in general are viewing this Senate race with a decided lack of interest. From the story, which has details on a new Field Poll, this:

“Attorney General Kamala Harris maintains a solid lead among the top candidates, but nearly a majority of California voters still have no preference less than two months before June’s primary.

This is the second time a U.S. Senate race in California has been dictated by the rules of the “top two” primary system — in which the two top vote-getters square off in November’s general election, regardless of party — and far from emboldening downtrodden Republican voters, it seems to have left them scratching their heads.

Taken together, combined support for the two Democrats leading in the poll — Harris (27 percent) and Southern California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (14 percent) — amounts to 41 percent, still 7 percent shy of the voters who have no preference or are undecided. The numbers have hardly budged since January.

The nonpartisan Field Poll was conducted from March 24 to April 3, among 633 respondents representing a likely cross-section of voters. Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, was so aghast at the level of lassitude revealed by the poll he didn’t even mention Harris or Sanchez in the headline of his news release.

“It’s almost unprecedented for a top-of-the-ticket election,” DiCamillo said, referring to the lack of interest in a race that could help determine whether Democrats regain control of the Senate. “For whatever reason — maybe information is being drowned out by the presidential race — there is very little discussion, very little news coverage, very little advertising that has to do with California’s U.S. Senate race. And that is extremely unusual. Very unusual. I want to be very clear about that. This is not normal.”

None of the three leading Republican contenders polled higher than the 5 percent garnered by businessman Ron Unz, an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1994 who has pushed for English-only teaching in the state’s schools. Unz only entered the race last month, but he still tops former Republican Party chairs Tom Del Beccaro (4 percent) and Duf Sundheim (2 percent).”

So much for the notion Republicans were rallying around Duf Sundheim.

Harris is proving to be one of the most uninspiring candidates for Senate in decades.  Her campaign makes little news outside of emails begging for money.  Sanchez has been bolstering her bid through showing voters she knows how to get things done in Washington and logging in lots of cross country miles.

When you consider the voter turnout for the June 7 primary is expected to be huge, Sanchez may just surprise everyone with how she does.  Latino voters are expected to turn out in record numbers largely due to having Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the ticket.  Sanchez will be the beneficiary of that when the downticket races voting takes place.