We all assume that since surveys have found Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez as the candidates with the most support in the open primary race for U.S. Senate, that it’s almost a sure thing that the runoff election in November will pit the two Democrats against one another.
And certainly, if you just accept the most recent Public Policy Institute of Caliornia survey on the Senate race, that would be a logical conclusion. PPIC had Harris leading with 27% percent of likely voters, followed by Sanchez at 19 percent. Then came Tom Del Beccaro, former chairman of the state Republican Party, with 8%; activist gadfly Ron Unz at 6%, and Duf Sundheim, another former chairman of the state GOP with 3%.
But 31% of likely voters remain undecided, including a whopping 46% — nearly half – of Republicans and 35% — more than a third – of independents.
Will all those undecided Republicans just skip the Senate race when they fill out their ballots? (Not likely) Or will they distribute them in about the same proportion as those Republicans who have already decided? (Probably) Or – and this is where it gets interesting – will some hefty portion of those Republican and independent voters settle on one of the GOP candidates?
Clearly, those undecideds aren’t drawn to Harris or Sanchez. It may be too late now, what with permanent absentee ballots already in the mail, but if one of the Republicans makes a case in the last week, perhaps, just perhaps, there’s be a chance to sneak by Sanchez and make it into the top two for November.
We’ll know more this week when the Field Poll comes out in which we expect more attention will be paid to those Senate race undecideds. In the meantime, we’re rooting for Duf to flood the state with his final message.