U.S. Senator

U.S. Senate (Full Term)

Top two candidates advance to general election.

Adam Schiff (D)31.6%
2,299,507 votes
Steve Garvey (R)31.5%
2,292,414 votes
Katie Porter (D)15.3%
1,115,606 votes

Race called at 9:01 PM PT on March 5, 2024
99.66% of votes countedAssociated Press
This percentage is an Associated Press estimate of how much of the vote in an election has been counted. It is informed by turnout in recent elections, details on votes cast in advance and – after polls close – early returns. The estimate may fluctuate as election officials report additional results and AP learns more about how many voters have cast a ballot.

Why does this race matter?

A crowded field of candidates is running to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Senator Dianne Feinstein for more than 30 years. It’s a rare opportunity to represent the most populous state in the nation in the Senate. The March vote could decide a likely winner in November: If a Republican advances to the general election along with a Democrat, the Democrat would be favored to win the seat. 

Why am I voting in this race twice? 

When longtime California Sen. Dianne Feinstein died in September, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Laphonza Butler to serve the remainder of her term. Voters are now being asked to pick a senator to serve the short window from when the election is certified to when the term ends on Jan. 3, 2025, and also to pick a senator for the next full term, from January 2025 through January 2031. 

Key Candidates

This list represents the most notable candidates running for the seat.
Steve Garvey
Steve GarveyFormer Professional Baseball PlayerRepublican
Barbara Lee
Barbara LeeU.S. RepresentativeDemocrat
Katie Porter
Katie PorterU.S. RepresentativeDemocrat
Adam Schiff
Adam SchiffU.S. RepresentativeDemocrat

Top Priorities

Steve Garvey: 

  • Tackling homelessness by addressing the mental health and substance abuse crises. 
  • Improving public schools.
  • Holding criminals accountable and improving funding for police departments.

Katie Porter: 

  • Tackling corruption at corporations and in government, including by barring federal lobbyists from making campaign contributions.  
  • “Unrigging” the economy by investing in public services, climate action and health care and limiting corporate consolidation. 
  • Empowering workers through a higher minimum wage and making it easier to organize labor unions.

Barbara Lee:

  • Providing health care for all through a single-payer system.
  • Taking climate action, particularly in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
  • Protecting reproductive rights.

Adam Schiff: 

  • Expanding voting rights and eliminating the electoral college.
  • Reforming campaign finance and ethics laws to make government more accountable.
  • Reforming the Supreme Court by expanding it and imposing term limits.

Positions on Key Issues
Candidate summaries are based on interviews with the candidates, questionnaires, statements made at debates and public events, and past news coverage.

Do you support a national abortion ban, national abortion limit or federal legislation codifying abortion access across the U.S.?

Garvey says he would not support a federal abortion ban or a federal law codifying abortion access, but wants to leave it up to the states as set out by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. He says he’s personally opposed to abortion but wants to “honor” Californians' overwhelming vote to maintain legal access to abortion.
Lee wants to end the filibuster in the Senate and codify Roe v. Wade’s protections into federal law. She speaks openly about risking her life to get a “back-alley abortion” when it was illegal and is co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She is coauthor of proposed federal legislation that would let people on government-sponsored health plans access abortion care, and wrote California’s Violence Against Women Act as a state Assembly member.
Porter supports federal legislation to guarantee abortion access in all states, including the Women’s Health Protection Act. She’s voted for legislation to strengthen protections for patients who travel across state lines to access abortion care and says she’s posed questions to companies like FedEx asking how they will ensure Americans can access medication abortion through the mail.
Schiff says he would “strongly and vigorously” oppose a national abortion ban or any other federal limitations and supports codifying Roe v. Wade’s protections into federal law. He says he will support the Women’s Health Protection Act, work to reform the Supreme Court in part by expanding its size and imposing term limits, and support a change in law so people on government-sponsored health plans access abortion care.

Do you support a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas and do you want to see any conditions placed on U.S. aid to Israel? Do you support continuing financial and military aid to Ukraine?

Garvey says he does not support a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and also opposes placing any conditions on aid to Israel, saying the U.S. should “unequivocally stand by Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorists.” He says the U.S. cannot fund the war in Ukraine forever and that future aid should be based on “some metric of success.”
Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against authorizing the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11. Lee supports an “unequivocal cease-fire,” and has since fall; she also believes that further assistance to Israel must be dependent on a “fundamental shift in its military strategy” and abide by U.S. and international law. She says the U.S. must continue to support Ukraine and its democracy against Russia.
Porter supports a “lasting bilateral cease-fire” contingent on “release of all hostages, durable security for Israel, and an end to Hamas’ control of Gaza.” She does not believe the U.S. should pledge unconditional military aid to Israel. She says any U.S. aid should be used to work toward a lasting two-state solution, and “must come with respect for U.S. and international law.” She supports continuing financial and military aid to Ukraine.
Schiff does not support a permanent cease-fire, saying it will perpetuate Hamas control over Gaza and that a two-state solution is not possible while Hamas controls the territory. He also opposes conditioning U.S. aid to Israel. He “strongly” supports additional financial and military support for Ukraine but opposes providing cluster munitions.

Would you use Community Project Funding requests (also known as earmarks) to steer funds toward California projects?

Garvey calls the current earmark system “flawed” and says it needs to be reformed to make sure projects are funded on their merits. He blames earmarks for inflation and the national debt, but says he would use it to deliver resources to California.
Lee supports earmarks as a “critical tool” to deliver results to constituents, particularly people of color and those who have low income. She touts millions of dollars in federal funding she has secured as a member of Congress for things like commercial revitalization, apprenticeship programs and mental health services.
Porter has long opposed earmarks and says she would continue to shun them as a Senator. She’s calling for reform to eliminate them entirely, saying they hurt people in low-income communities and communities of color. She believes federal spending should be decided by neutral policy experts and not be dependent on the connections of an individual politician.
Schiff supports earmarks and says elected leaders must fight for dollars to flow back to California, noting the state already sends more money to Washington, D.C., than it gets back. He says as a congressman he has brought back millions of dollars to combat homelessness and the housing crisis, strengthened wildfire prevention efforts and invested in mental health treatment for first responders.

Would you support changes to the asylum system or other immigration reform?

Garvey says the U.S.’s first priority should be strengthening the southern border but that he wants to “reward those who are seeking citizenship legally, including asylum seekers.” He is calling for an end to “chaos” at the border and for a streamlining of the immigration process.
Lee wants to abolish recent policies that have upended long-standing asylum protocols. She voted against the creation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and is calling for a 50% cut to Customs and Border Protection funding. She supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. as well as more investments in Central and South American countries from which many immigrants in the U.S. originate.
Porter says the U.S. needs to streamline its asylum process to make it easier for those fleeing political, economic and religious persecution to legally seek refuge in America. She calls our immigration system a “mess” and blames Republicans for blocking reform.
Schiff is calling for investing more resources into the immigration court system in order to address the backlog and speed up how long it takes to adjudicate asylum petitions. He wants to see comprehensive immigration reform and supports the U.S. Citizenship Act to create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.

Key Supporters

This list represents notable organizations and individuals who have taken a position on the ballot measure or candidate, or who are funding campaigns in support or opposition. This list is not exhaustive, and may be updated.

For Garvey

  • N/A 

For Lee 

  • California Labor Federation 
  • Congressional Black Caucus PAC
  • Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice)

For Porter

  • Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator 
  • California Labor Federation
  • California School Employees Association

For Schiff 

  • Nancy Pelosi, U.S. representative 
  • California Labor Federation 
  • United Farm Workers

Additional Candidates

Eric Early
Eric EarlyAttorneyRepublican. Early has previously run for Congress and Attorney General. He told KQED that he would vote for a national 15-week limit on abortions and opposes continuing financial and military aid to Ukraine.

U.S. Senator FAQ

What does a U.S. senator do?

California’s two U.S. senators represent the interests of the state in the upper chamber of Congress. They write and vote on bills, pursue funding for projects and programs in the state, and decide on nominations for U.S. Supreme Court justices, federal judges, cabinet members and other federal officials.

What are the qualifications to be a senator?

Senators must be at least 30 years old, and have been U.S. citizens for at least nine years. They must also be residents of the state they’re running to represent at the time of the election. 

How many years do we elect a U.S. senator for? 

U.S. senators are elected for six-year terms.