Sigh. Thanks to California's solidly red inland half, Republican Steve Garvey sailed to victory as one of the top two vote-getters in Tuesday's primary race for Dianne Feinstein's former Senate seat. And this means that California will not have a woman in the Senate next year for the first time in over 30 years.

The polls were correct. As of Wednesday morning, with 47% of votes counted, Democrat Adam Schiff holds 33.2% of the vote with Steve Garvey taking 32.5%, leaving the leading female candidates Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee fighting over scraps.

Porter has 13.8% of the vote as of the Associated Press' last count, and Lee has 7.4%.

Turnout was, predictably, low in this primary, and odds are strong that in November's general election, Schiff will prevail easily over Garvey, with plenty more Democrats coming out to vote. But this still sets up a contest in which a Republican could, possibly, take a Senate seat that's been occupied by a Democrat for more than a generation.

California last had a Republican senator in 1991, when John Seymour was appointed by Republican Governor Pete Wilson to fill Wilson's seat, and was defeated by Feinstein in a race to finish Wilson's term.

San Francisco, of course, largely voted for the Democratic candidates, and Garvey took only 9.5% of the vote here, as the Chronicle reports. Schiff also took the majority in SF, with Porter faring slightly better than she did statewide with 23.2% of the local vote. Lee also had stronger support here, taking almost 21%.

"I will always, always be fighting for you," Porter said in a concession speech in Long Beach Tuesday night. Porter blamed special interests and billionaires for bankrolling the campaigns against her.

This election was, arguably, engineered by Schiff's well funded campaign, which used its dollars on TV ads that set up the contest as one between him and Garvey. That is on purpose, of course, telling Republican voters — who barely saw any ads or campaigning from Garvey's side — to cast ballots in an us-versus-them contest, in an open primary.

That strategy succeeded, and low turnout among Democrats meant that this would not be a race between two Democratic candidates — which would have been far more expensive and competitive for Schiff.

Republican Senate candidate Steve Garvey and his wife Candace Garvey smile at his election night watch party on March 5, 2024 in Palm Desert, California. Garvey and Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) are projected to win the ‘jungle primary’ for a California U.S. Senate seat. Democrats and Republicans are voting in 15 states on Super Tuesday. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As Politico noted in January, the Democratic establishment was not looking forward to a Schiff-Porter matchup in November, which would have siphoned too much donor cash away from much more pivotal races for contested House seats in California districts. While there is almost no question that Feinstein's Senate seat will continue to belong to Democrats, Democratic control of the House could hang in the balance again this year with the flip of a few House districts, and the party would like to see the money flow to those races instead.

That donor math is also going to work against Garvey, whose mostly hopeless race isn't going to attract much funding from the Republican side.

But Tuesday's primary was also a loss for female respresentation and diversity in the Senate. Come November, whoever wins, California will be represented by two men in the Senate for the first time since the 1980s.

"We have two old white men in this incredibly diverse and dynamic state … fighting to replace Dianne Feinstein’s seat," says Thad Kousser, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego, speaking to CalMatters. "This looks like your grandfather’s California."

Schiff gave his victory speech at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood, touting his record of leading the first Trump impeachment, and how he's been punished for it by House Republicans since they took power.

"A little over a year ago we kicked off this campaign, and I won't say it was without its bumps along the way," Schiff said. "I seem to recall, within hours of our announcement, a certain Kevin McCarthy kicked me off the Intelligence Committee."

Schiff's speech was interrupted by protesters who entered the hall chanting "Ceasefire now!"

Schiff responded saying, "We are so lucky, so lucky to live in a democracy where we all have the right to protest," he said. "We are so lucky to live in that kind of democracy and we want to make sure we keep this kind of democracy."

Top image: Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks during his primary election night gathering at The Avalon on March 05, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Adam Schiff won the California Senate primary and will face Republican challenger former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Steve Garvey in November. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)