Field Poll

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
January 6, 2016 4:01 PM

  • Two Democrats still hold top-two places
  • Twice as many GOP voters remain undecided
  • Harris does well with liberals, while Sanchez leads among Latinos

Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez continue to lead the contest to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, but the all-Democratic dynamic could change once more Republican voters begin engaging in the race, according to the new Field Poll.

Harris holds a 12-point advantage over Sanchez among likely voters, 27 percent to 15 percent. The three best-known Republicans, Assemblyman Rocky Chávez and former state GOP chairmen Duf Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro, continue to lag in single digits.

The top-two candidates in the primary, regardless of their party affiliation, advance to the general election under the state’s voter-approved election system. The Senate race would be the first partisan statewide contest to feature candidates from the same party since the jungle primary law took effect in 2012.

Harris leads Sanchez 27 percent to 15 percent. Three Republicans trail in single digits.

While the results largely mirror the last survey from October, suggesting the possibility of a marquee fall rematch between Harris and Sanchez, the poll found that twice as many Republicans and strong conservative voters are undecided as compared with their Democratic and strongly liberal counterparts.

Once GOP voters start weighing in, in larger numbers, they could push one of their own into the November runoff election, particularly if one candidate can garner more of their interest, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll. “That could come very late” in the June race, he said.

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