A brand new poll shows a very definite top two in the upcoming top-two primary for Dianne Feinstein’s former Senate seat, with Adam Schiff well in the lead, but Republican Steve Garvey solidly in second place, which is trouble for Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.

Tonight, Tuesday night, is your third and final debate for the late Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat. (It’s at 6 p.m. on NBC Bay Area, and all California NBC stations, as well as their streaming channels and apps). The four candidates debated in January, and then again the night of February 12.


And according to a new poll, there has definitely been some movement in the race. KRON4 reports that a new poll shows Rep. Adam Schiff easily in first place at 28%, which is obviously great news for Adam Schiff. But it’s even better news for Adam Schiff that Republican Steve Garvey is solidly in second place, according to the new poll, at 22%. And only the top two in the March 5 primary will go on to the November 5 runoff election for the Senate seat.


And that’s alarming news for Katie Porter, who had been in second place in previous polls.  Porter’s support has actually gone up by three percentage points since that previous poll, from 13% to 16%. The problem is she’s knocked into third place, and this poll has her eight percentage points behind Garvey, who seems to be consolidating Republican support based on name recognition from his days as a Los Angeles Dodger.

Meanwhile, Barbara Lee remains in fourth place at 9%, which is where she was in the last poll.


There’s another reason Garvey is increasing his name recognition. It’s no secret that Schiff has been elevating Garvey in his ads, calling Garvey “the leading Republican” in the race, and not at all acknowledging Porter or Lee.

Garvey’s campaign doesn’t have the money to run TV ads, while the well-funded Schiff is spending ad money like mad. And Schiff would obviously prefer to run against Garvey in November, as Democrats have an enormous 47%-24% registration advantage over Republicans in statewide voter registration.  

There is some possibility that the recent spate of crypto PAC attack ads against Porter has moved the numbers in this race. But it sure seems likely that Schiff’s ads pumping up Garvey’s name recognition have done more to move the race, as Schiff may be on the verge of handpicking his own preferred opponent for November 5.

Related: Debate for Feinstein’s Senate Seat: Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee Spar, Steve Garvey Wishy-Washes [SFNews]

Image: KTTV, FOX 11 Los Angeles