February 21, 2024

California’s main U.S. Senate candidates took to the stage Monday evening in San Francisco for a second spherical of debating as voters weigh their selections for the March 5 major.

The talk at Nexstar Media Group’s KRON 4 studio moderated by the “Inside California Politics” program’s Frank Buckley and Nikki Laurenzo featured 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 star Steve Garvey of Palm Desert.

The brisk-paced debate peppered the candidates with questions on most of the identical points they had been confronted with at their first debate Jan. 22 on the College of Southern California — the economic system and excessive value of residing, homelessness, crime, border management, help for overseas wars, former President Donald Trump.

Listed below are some key takeaways:

Will the talk change the race?

Latest polls, together with one following the final debate, have persistently put Schiff within the lead, with Porter and Garvey neck and neck for second place and Lee not far behind. The 2 candidates with essentially the most voters March 5, no matter occasion, will compete for the seat within the November election.

However a shakeup appears unlikely. The candidates gave typically spirited responses however didn’t stray from the messages they’ve honed on the marketing campaign path and within the final debate.

A number of jabs from candidates, chopping questions from moderators

Except for Lee, the opposite main candidates tried to slide in a number of jabs at each other, however there have been no colourful or memorable zingers.

Requested about age limits for politicians, Porter took a poke at frontrunner Schiff for having voted in opposition to age limits for Congress however urging for them for the Supreme Court docket. Schiff shot again that there’s a distinction as a result of justices have lifetime appointments and mentioned he favors “time period limits, not age limits” for them. He then supplied that “I get issues carried out” however “you possibly can’t stroll via Congress with out working into individuals who say I’m going to get issues carried out” — a critique he’s leveled at Porter.

Garvey blasted his Democratic rivals as “three profession politicians which have failed the folks” on housing affordability.

However the moderators landed the most important zingers with their questions. They requested Porter why she waited till final week to introduce a plan to make housing extra reasonably priced. Not glad together with her reply that “we had a number of vital hearings about housing prices however Washington isn’t listening to Californians,” they requested once more “why did you wait till simply final week, you’ve been in congress greater than 5 years?”

They requested Schiff why the variety of homeless folks in his district has climbed whereas its inhabitants hasn’t modified, to which he mentioned he was “proud I introduced funding to the district to offer housing” however conceded it “definitely take a couple of congressman’s effort to handle homelessness.”

The moderators repeatedly requested Garvey to clarify which housing rules he’d dispose of to make houses extra reasonably priced, and continued to press the query, revealing his lack of deep data when he replied nonspecifically, “rules on housing.”

They usually went after Lee’s name for a $50 minimal wage, or $100,000 a yr, asking “is that sustainable?” to which she replied “I’ve acquired to be targeted on what California wants.”

Moderators pressed candidates to reply their questions

For the second debate, the moderators sought to pin the candidates down with solutions to particular questions, and continuously adopted up reminding the candidates of the query once they delivered rambling responses.

Did it work? Typically. When moderators requested Lee whether or not progressive crime insurance policies went too far and led to rising crime in locations like her Oakland district, she initially responded that “enhanced sentences don’t cut back crime” and that “everybody needs public security, everybody needs their communities to be protected” and talked about banning assault weapon weapons and federal partnerships. The moderators requested once more, “did progressive reforms go too far?”

“No,” Lee mentioned.

The moderators posed a query Garvey tried to keep away from within the final debate about whether or not he’d settle for an endorsement from Trump, who’s unpopular amongst California voters typically however standard with Republicans.

“I believe the most important forex we’ve as People is the best to vote, and I hope this places to an finish the fixed badgering and use of the previous president’s title to assault me,” Garvey mentioned.

Requested once more if he’d spoken to Trump and would settle for his endorsement, Garvey mentioned “I haven’t spoken to him, and I hope you’ll settle for that I’ve private selections.”

Moderators famous Schiff hasn’t urged a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and if that meant he disagreed with President Joe Biden pushing for a pause within the preventing.

Schiff mentioned Hamas “needed this type of response” when it attacked Israeli civilians and that “Israel has a proper to defend itself.”

“At identical time, the president is correct to be urgent Israel to attempt to keep away from killing civilians and to deliver a few humanitarian pause so we will get help in and hostages out.”

Requested once more if he disagreed with Biden, Schiff mentioned “I definitely agree with president we’ve to do every little thing to cut back civilian casualties, he’s proper to attempt to get this pause.”

Equally, when Porter was requested if there could be peace with Hamas in Gaza, she mentioned “any peace ought to include launch of hostages in addition to commitments by the U.S. and Israel to rebuild Gaza.” When pressed on Hamas, she added that “we needs to be pushing for bilateral stop fireplace” and that the one approach to do this “is with completely different management of Gaza.”

Some enjoyable tidbits

It most likely received’t swing any voters however the moderators probed the candidates on their film and guide selections. Lee’s favourite film was “The Colour Purple,” Garvey’s “The Pure,” Schiff’s “The Massive Lebowski,” and Porter’s “Star Wars.”

For his or her final guide learn, Lee’s was Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” Garvey’s was Os Guinness’ “The Case for Civility,” Schiff’s was Ron Chernow’s “Grant” and Porter’s was Helen Klein Ross’ “The Latecomers.”