Thursday, March 14, 2024

Porter’s Other Problems: Money, a Celebrity Republican, Trump and Low Turnout

Katie Porter Katie Porter (D-CA) March 5, 2024. Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

Katie Porter’s problem was more than Adam Schiff’s campaign advertising. Her weak third place finish was foreshadowed, early in the race, with Adam Schiff’s superior fundraising and the entrance of a celebrity Republican last fall. But equally damaging was the emergence of Donald Trump and Joe Biden as two incredibly unpopular presidential nominees. Steve Garvey clearly was the Republican who could gather most of the Republican vote and turnout was depressed by the boring presidential contest dominated by unpopular candidates. Porter’s strategy depended on young voters turning out. They didn’t. Also, Schiff’s image as the Trump antagonist was greatly aided by the dominance of Trump since the Iowa and New Hampshire nominating events.

California Senate Race

Porter’s problems were:

  • Schiff fundraising puts him on TV, whereas Porter was mostly online, hoping for the youth vote.
  • Trump emerges as Republican nominee. Boring presidential race dampens turnout, especially among youth.
  • Garvey, a celebrity Republican, enters a weak field of Republicans.
  • Porter goes on the attack of candidates (Schiff) as tools of big corporations before any Schiff ads related to attacking Garvey were placed.
  • Schiff takes on Garvey as the preferred opponent, after seeing his weak performance in the first debate, raised Garvey’s visibility.

Schiff, Garvey Have Lead as Porter Stalls (February 26, 2024)

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