CA Democrats endorse Harris for Senate

SAN JOSE – Attorney General Kamala Harris secured the California Democratic Party endorsement for U.S. Senate Saturday night over Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Both women are vying to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer.

The endorsement seemed inevitable for Harris, who won with 78 percent of the vote at the California Democratic convention. And it’s a major blow for Sanchez, who spent the entire weekend trying to muster support from the different caucuses. The only problem was that for all of the warm reception Sanchez received, Harris’ receptions were warmer.Kamala Sanchez

Sanchez generally is polling a step behind Harris. A Field Poll in January showed Sanchez trailing Harris 27 percent to 15 percent among likely voters, behind with nearly every demographic except for among Latinos.

Sanchez has a respectable $2.1 million in her campaign account, while Harris has $4 million. There were many people at the convention in Sanchez for Senate gear, but Harris had many more.

“Congresswoman Sanchez thanks the delegates that supported her with their vote,” said Sanchez spokesman said Luis Vizcaino. “But make no mistake, today’s vote was not the primary. Congresswoman Sanchez is on track to be one of two candidates in the general election where the electoral dynamics change in her favor.”

Slight differences

Neither candidates’ campaign has been flawless. Harris’s has endured bad press over excessive spending and staff turnover while Sanchez’s has been marred by a series of missteps, first with Native Americans, then with Muslims.

While there’s not a lot of room between the two candidates on issues, Sanchez is trying to draw on her lengthy experience as a legislator, having been elected to Congress in 1996. Several times over the weekend she pointed to making Congressional Quarterly’s recent list identifying Sanchez as one of the 25 most influential women in Washington, for being a “debate shaper and swing votes.”

Sanchez points to her voting record and it’s consistency, receiving consistently high marks on Democratic issues. She also highlighted her decisiveness, arguing that voters know exactly what’ll they’ll get with her, as opposed to the unproven Harris.

For example, Sanchez came out quickly on the side of Apple in the tech company’s battle with the federal government over privacy issues, and it’s refusal to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

“I fully support Apple’s decision to fight the court order through the judicial process and I believe Congress must address the broader policy issues raised by this case,” Sanchez said in a statement. Meanwhile, Harris has yet to take a position.

Experience matters

One of Sanchez’s proudest legislative victories was changing how sexual assaults in the military are reported and tracked, thereby increasing accountability. Knowing she had little chance of getting the bill passed as a standalone, she was able to add the measure as an amendment to a must-pass defense authorization bill.

She’s also consistently helped secure federal funding for Orange County’s groundwater replenishment system which provides water to millions of residents.

Sanchez, one of the few remaining members of the once-powerful moderate Blue Dog Democrats, has accrued seniority on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees over two decades.

And she’s made relationships in a place where relationships are the only thing that matters, noting that she’d be able to make an immediate impact in the Senate, with a firm grasp on policy and how to legislate — and it helps that many senators she served with in the House.

“It’s the duty of a senator to make policy through legislation,” Sanchez told thousands of Democrats on Saturday. “Legislation is a complex and contentious process. Success requires consensus building and institutional knowledge. While other candidates talk about boldly changing Washington, I have done it for 20 years.”

Path to victory

Sanchez on Friday told CalWatchdog that she’s been favored head-to-head polls against Harris. Sanchez’s plan has been to advance through the primary and hope to draw enough support largely from Latinos, moderates and even some Republicans.

She’ll need a strong Southern California turnout, a strong showing from Latinos, and a few good issues mixed with a Harris misstep, said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at CSU Los Angeles.

“With the top two primary, her first goal has to be to finish second in the primary. so far, that looks doable with no major Republican running,” said Sonenshein. “Then anything can happen.”

19 comments

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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 28 February, 2016, 15:39

    Poor Loretta. Just not Obama enough for the leftists of California. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Art
    Art 28 February, 2016, 18:04

    Democrats see Sanchez as a DINO. Guess that might make her worth voting. But I am skeptical as her constincuency will differ if she wins

    Reply this comment
  3. Bill G.
    Bill G. 29 February, 2016, 07:39

    So is Kamala officially ‘black’ or is she more ‘self identifying’? Looks like she’s had some ‘work’ done on the face, Michael Jackson’s surgeon maybe? Nose, chin and cheeks out of balance..Jus sayin’…..

    Reply this comment
  4. junior
    junior 29 February, 2016, 09:37

    “It’s the duty of a senator to make policy through legislation,” Harris told thousands of Democrats on Saturday.”

    Correction –
    Think it was Sanchez – not Harris – who said that.

    Reply this comment
  5. maximilian
    maximilian 29 February, 2016, 13:28

    Kamala does not make endorsements or comment on much of anything, let alone the Apple/FBI matter. But, her finger is in the air and she’s checking wind direction and strength. When the issue gets resolved and we move along, Kamala will release a well-worded press summary revealing how closely she followed the debate and that she agrees with the findings. Think of one California issue (pension reform??) where she had anything of substance to provide in the early innings. This is not what she does.

    This lady is ahead in the polls thanks to Obama’s remarks about her attractiveness…She has no accomplishments and no plans for anything of worth. Our job is to prevent her from getting the nomination.

    Reply this comment
  6. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 29 February, 2016, 16:22

    Kamala Harris will make an excellent U.S. Senator for our fair state. Loretta Sanchez can continue her fine work in the House, and all of us will be better off.

    Reply this comment
    • junior
      junior 29 February, 2016, 16:35

      I believe that Loretta has her sights sets on Diane Feinstein’s seat in 2018. Will DF run again at 85 years? I doubt it.

      Reply this comment
      • SkippingDog
        SkippingDog 29 February, 2016, 18:37

        I’d be pleased with that.

        Reply this comment
        • junior
          junior 29 February, 2016, 19:18

          Skipping Dog – Are you aware that this is a Conservative blog?

          Reply this comment
        • ricky65
          ricky65 1 March, 2016, 09:09

          We understand that coming from you Scooting Dog.
          But then you’d be happy voting for a set of those chattering teeth sitting on a table if they hung a ‘Democrat’ sign on it..

          Reply this comment
  7. SmartMike
    SmartMike 29 February, 2016, 19:38

    Kampala is as pristine as freshly fallen snow. Her integrity, and supreme intellect would serve her well as a U.S. Senator. The only persons she can t really compare to are the modern day Socrates, Jerry Brown, and the Big Daddy, the King of Kings, the deity, the holy trinity himself, humble Barack Obama.

    Reply this comment
    • junior
      junior 29 February, 2016, 19:45

      LOL SmartMike!

      Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 1 March, 2016, 15:03

      All true, Smarty. And she learned all her political skills (and possibly a few other moves) from the master himself. That would be Willie Brown, the SF politico who fashioned himself as the ‘Ayatollah of the Legislature.
      She was the long time girlfriend of Slick Willie and he carefully set up and mentored her political career.
      No doubt plenty of knowledge about the art of the slippery deal, corrupt politics and how to screw the public has been passed along to her highness.

      Reply this comment
  8. Queeg
    Queeg 29 February, 2016, 20:58

    Comrade Junior

    As new on the block……listen and learn……there is room for lefties!

    Reply this comment
    • junior
      junior 29 February, 2016, 23:18

      Queeg – I wasn’t saying that SMARTMIKE is not welcome here – I wasn’t sure if he was aware of the conservative bent of this blog. Now go back to rolling your steel balls.

      Reply this comment
      • junior
        junior 29 February, 2016, 23:20

        I meant to refer to Skipping Dog

        Reply this comment
        • ricky65
          ricky65 1 March, 2016, 15:10

          Yeah, Ol’ Scooting dog has been a longtime lefty poster on this site.
          But I did enjoy your scooting dog video. I’ve been calling him that for a while but not sure everyone was in on the joke.
          This is exactly the reason to never, ever, sit down or go barefoot on any liberal lefty’s carpet.

          Reply this comment
  9. SmartMike
    SmartMike 1 March, 2016, 18:30

    It will take someone special to fill the Air Jordan’s in the oval office.

    Reply this comment

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