Adam Schiff’s Plan to Boost Steve Garvey Works as Both Advance to General

Adam Schiff’s Plan to Boost Steve Garvey Works as Both Advance to General

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) pulled off his audacious primary election plan on Super Tuesday: to boost his Republican rival, Steve Garvey, so both would qualify for the general election, leaving more viable Democratic contenders behind.

Under California’s “jungle” primary system, the top two vote recipients in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party. Schiff might have faced a tougher challenge from one of the female Democrats in the race — Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA) or Barbara Lee (D-CA), for example. But when Garvey, a former baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, entered the race as a Republican, he provided the perfect foil for Schiff to set up an easier November contest.

Los Angeles, CA – News cameras focus on Dodgers legend Steve Garvey during a visit to the Downtown Center Business Improvement District offices in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 11, 2024. Garvey is campaigning to represent California in the United States Senate, an office that formerly was held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. (photographer} / Los Angeles Times)

Democrats enjoy such a huge registration advantage in the state — nearly 47% Democratic to just 24% Republican — that the GOP has been shut out of statewide office since Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor, nearly 15 years ago.

Schiff ran ads in major media markets, and on social media platforms, that slammed Garvey for his conservative views. That achieved two goals: it set Schiff up as the party standard-bearer, and also excited conservatives about Garvey.

It was in many ways a dirty, deceptive campaign. In one Facebook ad, for example, Schiff borrowed a headline from Fox News, but attributed it to “,” a stronger conservative brand. The ad linked to a different Breitbart article.

Schiff and Garvey will compete in two races: a special election to complete the unfinished six-year term of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and a regular election to begin the new six-year term that starts in January. As of Tuesday evening, before a full count of mail-in and dropped-off ballots, Schiff won 33.8% and Garvey won 31.1% in the special election, and Schiff won 36.6% and Garvey won 29.3% in the regular election. Porter was a distant third in both races.

As editor Jon Fleischman explained on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM Patriot 125, the one bit of good news for Republicans is that Garvey’s presence on the ticket could help House candidates in downticket races.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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