Phil Willon
May 3, 3016 – 7:51 P.M.

A competitive California presidential primary had all sorts of potential to scramble the other races on June 7. One possible outcome: A surge in Republican turnout could have dashed Senate candidate Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s hopes of making it past the primary and to the general election.

After Sen. Ted Cruz’s departure from the GOP race all but handed Donald Trump his party’s nomination, Sanchez dismissed speculation she might benefit.

There are three top Republican challengers each aiming to perform better than Sanchez to face front-runner Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.

But if California Republican voters lose interest now that Trump appears to be the presumptive GOP nominee, that could help Sanchez capture a bigger chunk of the primary vote in a state dominated by Democrats.

“I think we’re going to be good to get through that primary,” said Sanchez (D-Santa Ana). “We’re just going to campaign very hard for the next 35 days.”

Recent opinion polls showed Sanchez in second place, trailing Harris. The congresswoman leads the three top Republicans in the running: Tom Del Beccaro, George “Duf” Sundheim and Ron Unz. Nearly a third of voters polled said they were undecided.

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