Former Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leads a crowded field of possible contenders to replace longtime California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, a new poll shows.
The Field Poll
released Wednesday shows Rice, a Republican who teaches at Stanford — and who says she has no desire
to run for office — is favored by 49 percent of likely voters, with 31 percent of Democrats inclined to vote for her.
California's attorney general, Kamala Harris, who's already declared her intent to run for Boxer's seat, follows with 46 percent, the poll shows.
Third is California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, with 39 percent, and in fourth place, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa polled with 35 percent, the survey shows.
Rice is also the favorite among independent voters, women and non-Hispanic whites, the poll shows; 54 percent of voters without a party preference or who support a minor party said they would be inclined to vote for the former cabinet member.
Though the poll is good news for the GOP in solidly blue California, it all depends on Rice; former Republican state senator Phil Wyman only had the support of 24 percent of voters.
The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Boxer's departure is the first of three anticipated retirements among California's top leaders. Gov. Jerry Brown, 76, will leave office at the end of his fourth term in 2018 because of term limits, and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 81, will be 85 when her term ends.
Boxer has announced she won't seek re-election
in 2016 to a fifth term in office.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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