Kamala Harris (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
March 23, 2016 – 09:00 p.m.
With just over three months to go before the state’s June primary election, Democrats Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Santa Ana have more voter support than their Republican rivals in the race for U.S. Senate, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Still, nearly 1 in 3 likely California voters polled remained undecided, making the outcome of the election difficult to predict.
The survey showed that among all likely California voters, Harris received support from 26%, compared with 17% support for Sanchez.
Among the Republicans, Tom Del Beccaro received 9% support and George “Duf” Sundheim received 6%. Both Del Beccaro and Sundheim are Bay Area attorneys and have served as chairmen of the California Republican Party.
Republican Ron Unz, who championed a 1998 initiative to end bilingual education in California, jumped into the Senate campaign last week and was not included in the poll.
Under California’s top-two primary system, the two candidates who receive the most votes — regardless of party — will face off in the November election. The election is open, meaning voters can cast ballots for any candidate, not just those in their political party.
The Public Policy Institute of California poll canvassed 1,710 California residents by telephone from March 6 through March 15. The margin of error overall is plus or minus 3.6%.