California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, the only major candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer, is unknown by more than half the state's registered voters, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
Even more — six in 10 — have no impression of her, favorable or dim.
The primary election is more than a year away, giving Harris, a Democrat, ample opportunity to raise enough money to introduce herself to California's nearly 18 million registered voters. But voters' lack of knowledge about Harris — a state official since 2011 — presents an opportunity for a challenger.A well-financed Democratic challenger might be able to make a go of it, but a Republican? Tony Quinn doubts it:
Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris is becoming more and more the inevitable successor to Sen. Barbara Boxer, but one thing will assure Harris’s election, and that is if a Republican ends up in the top two runoff against her. It is impossible for any Republican to be elected United States Senator from California.
That is because federal offices have become the symbol of our polarized nation. Consider Sen. James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma. Inhofe is congress’s leading climate change denier; he regularly calls global warming a fraud and a hoax. So you would think he would be seriously challenged when he ran for re-election last year, but you would be wrong. Inhofe won re-election in Oklahoma by 68 percent.
That’s because Oklahoma is a solidly Republican state; there are no Democrats in its congressional delegation. Its voters are perfectly happy with Inhofe, especially since he has now replaced Boxer as the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
But would Californians ever vote for climate change denier Inhofe? Fat chance. However, a vote for a Republican candidate for US Senate in 2016 would be a vote to keep Inhofe as chairman of the environmental committee. Californians would not do that.