Surprising Poll Shows Republican Steve Garvey Leading In Crowded California Senate Race

Retired MLB star Steve Garvey is leading the race for U.S. Senate in California ahead of the March 5 primary, according to a new poll from the University of California Berkeley Institute of Government Studies.

The poll, which was conducted between February 22 and 27, shows Garvey with 27 percent of the vote, beating out U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is polling at 25 percent. U.S. Rep. Katie Porter trails Schiff with 19 percent of the vote while U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee is in a distant fourth with eight percent.

If current polling holds up, the race will head to a runoff election between Schiff and Garvey. The former baseball star will have his work cut out for him in order to win the general election due to the state’s heavily left-wing electorate, however.

An analysis from the Los Angeles Times has credited the hyper competitive Democrat primary for Garvey’s sharp rise in the polls.

In addition, the outlet noted that Schiff has spent roughly $25 million in ads most of which has framed the contest as a two-candidate race between him and Garvey. An outside group of pro-Schiff PACs have spent roughly $10 million on the same goal.

“Two leading candidates for Senate. Two very different visions for California,” a narrator reads in one of the ads. The ad later attacks Garvey for voting for Donald Trump twice and labels him as “too conservative for California.”

“While the message will turn off Democratic voters in the state, it may increase the former baseball player’s appeal to Republican voters — as it is designed to do,” said Los Angeles Times reporter Benjamin Oreskes, who cited two unnamed political consultants.

Garvey’s primary prospects will also likely be helped but what is expected to be a low turnout election, according to early mail-in voting returns in the nation’s largest state.

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