A new poll shows that an unusual number of California voters are currently uncommitted in the state’s election to fill Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat — which means the numbers could change dramatically in the weeks leading up to the June primary election.
The Field Poll released Saturday shows two Democratic candidates currently in the lead: state Attorney General Kamala Harris with 27 percent of likely voter preference, and U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez with 14 percent. Three Republican candidates were also mentioned in the poll -- businessman Ron Unz and two former Chairmen of the state Republican Party, Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim.
However, according to the poll, 48 percent of likely voters remain undecided or unlikely to choose any of the five candidates listed in the poll. And the majority of those voters — who represent 29 percent of all likely voters — say they are likely to vote Republican.
Poll director Mark DiCamillo suggests that the current inattentiveness of voters could be an opportunity for Republicans, should a single GOP candidate gather steam as the election approaches.
California’s U.S. Senate candidates will compete in an open primary June 7, in which voters can select candidates regardless of party affiliation. The two candidates with the most votes will go on to compete in the November election.
There are currently 35 candidates running for the seat - twelve Republicans, eight Democrats and fifteen affiliated with other parties or having no party preference.