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The Race for Second Place: Unz vs. Sanchez

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Credit: Tim Foster/Capitol Weekly
Credit: Tim Foster/Capitol Weekly

Great fights often have great names.

The Thrilla in Manila. The Rumble in the Jungle. The Race for Second Place.

Wait a second: The Race for Second Place?

Our recent Republican and Democratic primary polls suggest that Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Ron Unz are in a tight race to place a very distant second to Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris in California’s U.S. Senate primary on June 7. It’s important: A second-place finish guarantees a spot on the November general election ballot.

In our poll of likely Republican primary voters, Unz led with 20%.

Among likely Democratic primary voters, Sanchez receives 15%, to Harris’ 54%.

If turnout comports with past presidential primary history, the electorate will be 44% Democrats and 35.5% Republicans, which means that both Unz and Sanchez are at perhaps 7% each overall, a figure that reflects support from their respective party’s members. When factoring in the large numbers of undecideds, that 7 percent may rise slightly to 8 percent for Unz and 9% for Sanchez, as shown in our table below.

The party distribution within the electorate reflects a fairly conservative turnout estimate, predicated mainly on having voted in at least two of the last three statewide primary elections, or in the November 2014 general election (which, in terms of numbers, may as well have been a primary because of the anemic turnout).

But assuming that Republican participation drops to 30% and Democrats increase to 50%, the race remains close if Unz can win the support of half of Republicans (15% of total vote) and Sanchez a third of Democrats (16.5%).

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7 Comments to "The Race for Second Place: Unz vs. Sanchez"

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  1. Does anyone have any idea why this poll shows so much less support for Sanchez than these polls?

    More polls at

    I wonder if Trump being unopposed now will depress Republican turnout and hurt Ron’s chances. I hope not.

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  2. I’d suggest buying a few #2 Foam fingers to wave around, but there is just too much connotation inherent in that imagery.

  3. says:
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    Kind of a shame. Sanchez is a lot better than soulless, DNC-vetted Harris. I would even vote for an Unz/Sanchez platoon!

  4. my thought as well. I will, however, be among those turning out to vote Unz in the primary. In a sense, if he doesn’t win, Ron will have been hoist by his own sword: you can teach the Orcs to speak English…but they’re still going to vote ethno-collectivist: Blacks for Harris, Mestizos for Sanchez


    Weird ethnic background and too much of a DNC “managerial class” golden girl. Too bloodless and slick. I too would vote for the nominally vibrant Sanchez over Harris. No one is named Loretta any more! Edge to 100% Mexican origin Sanchez who came up the hard way.
    Of course Ron Unz would get my vote over these two loony lefties.

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  6. If Unz makes it to the general for a one-on-one against Harris, he will receive a lot of attention and scrutiny. Will this website be scrubbed at that point or is he going to let it all hang out?

  7. I too would vote for the nominally vibrant Sanchez over Harris.

    I’m curious, did you watch the senatorial debate? Sanchez’s performance there really turned me off and I’d like to get the perspective of someone who watched the debate and thinks well of her.

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