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Steve Garvey May End Up Causing Huge Upset In California Senate As Democrats Struggle With Low Voter Turnouts

California’s Senate primary race, initially anticipated as a Democratic showdown, now faces the unexpected prospect of Republican Steve Garvey making significant gains amidst a potential record-low turnout.

The contest, featuring prominent Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, and Katie Porter have shifted dynamics due to sluggish voter engagement, raising concerns among progressives and presenting an opportunity for Garvey to disrupt the political landscape.

Slow Voter Turnout

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Despite the significance of the Senate race, voter participation has been lackluster, particularly in returning mail-in ballots. “This is a low-interest, low-turnout kind of election cycle. That generally creates an electorate that is older, more conservative, and whiter,” said Paul Mitchell of Political Data Inc., a research firm that closely tracks voting trends and works with Democrats, independent candidates, and academics.

Concerns for Progressive Democrats

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The current political climate poses a challenge for progressive Democrats such as Barbara Lee and Katie Porter, whose congressional careers are at risk due to Garvey’s unexpected surge.

The top two candidates from the March 5 primary will advance to the general election in November, intensifying the competition.

Campaign Warnings

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Porter’s campaign has sounded alarms about the possibility of her losing the race without increased financial support.

“We’re at a real risk of losing,” said Porter’s campaign fundraising emails. Without more financial support, the plea added, “Katie is out of Congress for good.”

Factors Influencing Turnout

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A combination of factors, including the presidential election dynamics and the unfavorable views of both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, has contributed to the subdued turnout.

The resulting electorate leans towards older, more conservative demographics.

Republican Opportunity

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Paul Mitchell of Political Data Inc. suggests that despite being a traditionally Democratic state, California’s current electoral landscape could provide an opportunity for Republicans.

Garvey’s appeal to conservative voters, coupled with potential in-person turnout influenced by Trump’s rhetoric, may bolster his chances.

Campaign Strategies

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Adam Schiff’s campaign has been actively engaging potential supporters through extensive text and phone outreach, recognizing the importance of voter turnout for democratic processes.

Garvey’s Entry

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Garvey’s entry into the race has added a new dimension, offering Republicans a recognizable figure on the ballot.

Despite facing scrutiny over past controversies, Garvey’s popularity among conservative voters poses a formidable challenge to Democratic incumbents.

Democratic Endorsements

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Schiff emerged as the establishment pick, backed by prominent figures like Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer.

His substantial fundraising advantage has allowed for widespread advertising campaigns.

Advertising Disputes

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Porter’s campaign has criticized Schiff’s advertising tactics, accusing him of intentionally spotlighting Garvey to serve his own political agenda.

The strategy has stirred controversy within the Democratic ranks.

Challenges for Progressive Candidates

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Barbara Lee and Katie Porter, despite their progressive platforms, face hurdles in fundraising and polling.

The financial advantage enjoyed by Schiff has further complicated the race.

Final Assessment

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With only one Democratic candidate expected to secure victory, the Senate primary underscores the intense competition among the party’s contenders.

While all three Democrats bring impressive credentials, the outcome will ultimately depend on voter turnout and campaign strategies.

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