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Watch California Senate debate live: Candidates make final push to stand out before March primary

Four leading candidates in California’s U.S. Senate race will get their last chance to stand out in the final debate before voters head to the polls for the March primary.

Democratic Congress members Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Republican candidate and former professional baseball player Steve Garvey will try to convince Californians why they should succeed the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein during the debate at 6 p.m. on the Universal Studios Hollywood Lot

Race for the CA Senate seat that hasn’t been vacant in 3 decades

The candidates are competing for the seat left empty after the death of Feinstein, who held the position for nearly 32 years.

“It doesn’t happen very often. In fact, this particular U.S. Senate seat hasn’t been vacant in 30 years,” said NBC4 Chief Political Reporter Conan Nolan, one of the moderators of the debate.

And with the passing of Feinstein, the U.S. Senate seats for California, which were famously held by two women, Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for 24 years before Boxer’s retirement in 2017, could soon potentially be occupied by two men, Sen. Alex Padilla and one of the male candidates who will be on the debate stage Tuesday night.

What to watch for during the debate

The latest poll by USC, CSU Long Beach and Cal Poly Pomona showed Schiff of Burbank maintained a lead, gaining support from 25% of likely voters while Porter of Irvine and Garvey tied for second place at 15%. Lee, a longtime congressmember from Oakland, polled in a single digit despite having been in public office for more than three decades.

Close poll numbers will likely signal a tight battle among the candidates, using the final debate as opportunities to trade jabs on a number of crucial topics before the top two candidates go onto the November runoff.

“We’re seeing it already in some of the campaign commercials,” Noland said. “Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat, is doing everything he can to rally as much Republican support around Steve Garvey that he drags him with him to the November election.”

The Burbank congressman, who picked up support from his party leaders including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, may be taking a lesson from California’s Senate history.

“That’s because Adam Schiff believes he might be able to beat the other Democrats in November. But he knows he could beat Steve Garvey, because no Republican has won a U.S. Senate seat in California since 1988,” Nolan said.

When and what time is the 2024 U.S. Senate debate?

The debate and the post-debate analysis will be broadcast on NBC4 and Telemundo 52. The event will also be livestreamed on and, starting at 6 p.m.

How to join the discussion

While watching the livestream on NBCLA’s Facebook and YouTube and Telemundo 52’s Facebook and YouTube, viewers can join the discussion with the hashtag #Decision2024

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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