A new poll conducted by the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies has shown an unknown Republican, James Bradley, in a statistical tie for second place with State Sen. Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles) in the race for U.S. Senate.
De Léon has the support of 11 percent of likely voters in the poll, just ahead of Bradley with 10 percent — well within the poll’s 3.5% margin of error among 1,738 respondents.
Both candidates are well behind incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who has 28 percent of the vote. However, media coverage of the race has assumed that De Léon, the former President pro Tem of the State Senate and one of the most prominent Latino politicians in the state, would finish second.
Last week, left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer endorsed De Léon, whose candidate has energized the left wing of California’s Democratic Party.
Berkeley IGS Poll director Mark DiCamillo explained to the Fresno Bee — which first reported the poll results — that the reason Bradley did so well in the poll was that most other polls have simply presumed the race was a two-way contest between Feinstein and Bradley.
“The Berkeley IGS poll has gone from phone interviews to online this go-round,” the Bee notes, which allowed the poll to offer respondents a list of all 32 candidates (including 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans).
Reached by telephone Wednesday evening, Bradley said he was inspired by President Donald Trump to switch his party affiliation from independent to Republican.
A U.S. Coast Guard veteran running on an “America First” platform, Bradley told Breitbart News that he wants to unite America and resolve the country’s growing political divisions.
He lamented that despite California’s economic success, it has the highest poverty rate in the nation.
Thus far, Bradley has been almost entirely ignored by the media, mainstream and conservative. His sole interview was with a liberal outlet, NorCal News Now:
In his platform, Bradley says he is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-sanctuary state, and wants to repeal Obamacare.
If Bradley finishes ahead of De Léon, he would qualify for the November ballot under the rules of California’s “jungle primary.”
Until now, Republicans have lamented the likelihood that the party would fail to qualify any candidate for statewide office in November, which could hurt turnout and allow Democrats to take several vulnerable congressional seats that are held by Republicans but where Hillary Clinton carried the vote in 2016.
Now, however, with both Bradley and gubernatorial candidates John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) also fighting for second place, Republicans have a chance to make the November ballot, potentially saving several congressional seats — and perhaps saving GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.