With voting already underway, the leading candidates for California’s U.S. Senate seat will face off for a second time Monday night in San Francisco for what may well be the last chance to shake up the race before the March 5 primary election.
The leading candidates — Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff of Burbank, Katie Porter of Irvine and Barbara Lee of Oakland, and Republican former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres first baseman Steve Garvey of Palm Desert — debated once before on Jan. 22 at the University of Southern California.
Recent polls, including one following the last debate, have consistently put Schiff in the lead, with Porter and Garvey neck and neck for second place and Lee not far behind. The two candidates with the most voters March 5, regardless of party, will compete for the seat in the November election.
How California U.S. Senate candidates would differ from Feinstein and each other
“This is the first debate taking place in Northern California,” said political analyst Dan Schnur, who teaches at the University of Southern California and UC Berkeley. “Three of the four candidates on the stage are from Southern California and this is their first chance to be directly exposed to a Bay Area audience. Especially for Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, who are fighting to get into the runoff, this is an opportunity to appeal to a heavily Democratic audience.”
The 7 p.m. debate will be hosted by Nexstar Media Group‘s “Inside California Politics” and held in the KRON 4 News studio, moderated by program hosts Frank Buckley and Nikki Laurenzo. It will be broadcast statewide including on KRON 4 TV in the Bay Area. It also will be streamed live on kron4.com and on the KRON 4 app. It is expected to be the last debate before the primary.
The four candidates were chosen for the debate out of a crowded field, in part based on polling and fundraising indicating they are clearly in the lead as serious contenders.
The four are competing for the seat long held by late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor who died in September at age 90 after more than 30 years in the Senate. Her seat is presently occupied by Sen. Laphonza Butler, a Democrat appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom after Feinstein’s death. Butler has declined to run for a full term.
California’s other U.S. Senator is Democrat Alex Padilla, the former secretary of state Newsom appointed after Sen. Kamala Harris became vice president. Padilla was elected to a full term in 2022 over Republican challenger Mark Meuser.
The Jan. 22 debate included some colorful lines, but polling indicates it did little to shake up the dynamics of the race.
Schiff “did what he needed to do to maintain his frontrunner status” with a “steady” performance that “hit all the right notes,” while Porter evidently “didn’t do enough” to move up and secure the runner-up spot, said Sonoma State University Political Science Professor David McCuan. Lee delivered a solid performance, but she hasn’t gained on her rivals in polls and fundraising and remains in jeopardy of a fourth-place finish.
Garvey, making his first bid for public office, looked very much like the rookie politician against the three more seasoned candidates who repeatedly piled onto him, McCuan said. But that doesn’t necessarily hurt his chances at a second-place primary finish if the Democrats split the vote while Garvey consolidates Republican voters.
With 47% of voters registered Democratic, 24% Republican and 22% with no political party, Schnur said while there aren’t nearly enough Republicans in California to elect a Senator without pulling in other voters, “there are just enough of them to get a candidate into second place.”
“That’s a problem for Porter and Lee and an opportunity for Schiff,” Schnur said. “They need to tear Garvey down” to keep him from finishing second, while Schiff would face an easier November opponent in Garvey.
For Monday’s debate, the candidates “each have different set requirements,” McCuan said. For Schiff, “his goal is to elevate and remain the leader.”
Porter “has to muscle in, and has to not only go after Schiff, but move Garvey out,” McCuan said. “She needs more than a Schiff misstep, and more than a Garvey whiff.”
“Barbara Lee has to make a case to remain on stage, to remain in the race,” McCuan said.
And Garvey, he said, “will have to provide more steak and sizzle.”
“A mediocre performance by Steve Garvey can keep him over the Mendoza line” — baseball’s .200 batting average futility threshold — if Republicans continue to rally around the former slugger up to the primary, McCuan said. But he’ll need a bit more than that to put Porter away and clinch second place.
“He’s got to smack the ball hard,” McCuan said.
How to watch the debate:
The debate will air Monday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. on Nexstar California stations statewide and their digital platforms. In the Bay Area, it will be telecast on KRON 4 TV and also livestreamed on kron4.com and on the KRON 4 app.
Gonzaga vs. San Francisco odds, score prediction: 2024 college basketball picks, Feb. 29 bets by top model
We’ve got another exciting West Coast Conference matchup on Thursday’s college basketball schedule as the San Francisco Dons will host the Gonzaga Bulldogs. San Francisco is 22-7 overall and 14-1 at home, while Gonzaga is 22-6 overall and 6-2 on the road. The Zags have won 28 straight meetings with the Dons, including a 77-72 victory on Jan. 25. The Dons are 17-11 against the spread in the 2023-24 college basketball season, while Gonzaga is 12-15 versus the number.
Tip-off is at 11 p.m. ET at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Zags are favored by 3.5 points in the latest San Francisco vs. Gonzaga odds, per SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 153 points. Before entering any Gonzaga vs. San Francisco picks, you’ll want to see the NCAA Basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters Week 17 of the 2023-24 season on a 139-94 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning nearly $2,300 for $100 players. It is also off to a sizzling 25-14 start on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.
The model has set its sights on Gonzaga vs. San Francisco. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and betting lines for Gonzaga vs. USF:
- San Fran. vs. Gonzaga spread: San Fran. +3.5
- San Fran. vs. Gonzaga over/under: 153 points
- San Fran. vs. Gonzaga money line: San Fran.: +140, Gonzaga: -168
- San Fran. vs. Gonzaga picks: See picks at SportsLine
What you need to know about San Francisco
San Francisco put the finishing touches on its ninth blowout victory of the season on Saturday. It blew past the Pepperdine Waves 92-68. San Francisco got its victory on the backs of several key players, but it was Ndewedo Newbury out in front who scored 19 points to go along with five rebounds. The team also got some help courtesy of Mike Sharavjamts, who scored 12 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.
San Fran is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranking 12th in the country in defensive rating. It is also extremely efficient on the other end of the court, ranking fifth in the nation with 49.7% on its field goal attempts. However, the Dons aren’t proficient at getting to the charity stripe as their 14.6 free throw attempts per game rank 356th out of 362 Division I teams. See which team to pick here.
What you need to know about Gonzaga
Meanwhile, Gonzaga entered its tilt with the Santa Clara Broncos with five consecutive wins, but it’ll enter its next game with six. The Bulldogs walked away with a 94-81 victory over the Broncos on Saturday. Multiple players turned in solid performances to lead Gonzaga to victory, but perhaps none more so than Graham Ike, who scored 26 points to go along with seven rebounds. Another player making a difference was Nolan Hickman, who scored 20 points to go along with five assists.
With a 22-6 record, the Zags are already tied for their most losses in a season since 2016-17. They were ranked as high as No. 7 in the Top 25 poll but uncharacteristically find themselves unranked heading into March. The offense is still elite, ranking fifth in the country in points per game and third in offensive rating, but the team just hasn’t been able to keep its momentum after outright victories. Gonzaga is just 7-13 ATS after a win, and even though it has won six consecutive games straight-up, the Zags enter tonight’s matchup with three straight ATS losses. See which team to pick here.
How to make San Francisco vs. Gonzaga picks
The model has simulated Gonzaga vs. San Francisco 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that hits in over 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Gonzaga vs. San Francisco, and which side of the spread hits over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see the best bets from a model that’s 25-14 on top-rated college basketball picks this season, and find out.
Lee's Deli permanently closes all locations after 40 years in downtown SF
Hundreds Line Up in San Francisco to See 7-Foot Tall Corpse Flower That Smells 'Like a Porta Potty'
A corpse flower blooming in San Francisco is drawing in crowds anxious to smell the plant’s unique scent!
The California Academy of Sciences has named the rare plant Mirage, and the museum announced that they were excited to host their first-ever corpse flower bloom this week.
“It’s happening! Mirage, our corpse flower, is blooming,” the academy said in a tweet on Tuesday. Their post also contained a photo of the roughly seven-foot tall flower.
Adding that biologist Tim Wong would be hosting a Q&A for interested persons that evening, the academy also noted that Mirage could be seen in-person at the Osher Rainforest starting at 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday.
“Come catch a whiff!” the post concluded.
Corpse flowers, known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum, get their name from the powerful stench they produce while in bloom — which is only for two to three days once every year or two, according to the United States Botanic Garden.
“It smells like rotten flesh and carrion, so you might get notes of all of those different things, people say garlic, sweaty feet, rotten flesh,” Wong told San Francisco’s ABC News 7 of the extraordinary plant and its extraordinary smell. “I actually kind of thought it smelled a little bit like a porta potty, like a collection of scents.”
He added that those wanting to witness the bloom may want to do so quickly.
“The opportunity to see one of these in bloom is so ephemeral, the blooms last about one day so you really have a short window of time to come see the flower open.”
And Mirage is unique in many ways.
As of 2021, the USBG estimated that there were fewer than 1,000 individual corpse flowers remaining in the wild — making seeing one of these plants in person a remarkable experience.
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The San Diego Botanic Garden refers to a corpse flower bloom as “a rare and special event,” stating that “most plants require seven to ten years to produce their first blooms, and bloom only every four to five years thereafter.”
Wong called the timing of the bloom “very unusual” because the academy is at the end of their typical season.
“If you can take off work, come check out the flower, I would definitely recommend it if you can, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people,” the biologist said.
Their natural habitat includes the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia, and the bloom can reach heights of up to 8 feet.
Mirage was just a tiny flowering plant when it was presented as a gift to the California Academy of Sciences on behalf of the Conservatory of Flowers.
For those unable to attend the special show in San Francisco or see the corpse flower in its natural habitat, a live-stream of the academy’s exhibition can be viewed here.
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