California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) starts with a big lead over former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and a number of other potential challengers, according to a new California Senate poll obtained by The Hill.
Harris leads Villaraigosa by 45 percent to 23 percent in a head-to-head match-up, a possible scenario because of California's unusual all-party primary system. The top two vote-getters move to the general election regardless of what party they're in.
Harris is the only announced candidate at this point, and her standing in the poll likely benefits from the higher name recognition she has around the state. But she's also better liked than Villaraigosa, according to the poll. Harris has a 45 percent favorability rating with 30 percent viewing her unfavorably, while Villaraigosa's favorability rating is at 26 percent, with 44 percent viewing him unfavorably.
Neither Dreier nor Bono are expected to run for Senate, though California Republicans will likely field at least one candidate for the race.
Villaraigosa is expected to make a decision soon on whether to run for the Senate or wait until a possible gubernatorial run in 2018.
The survey is also the first that's been publicly released on a hypothetical race for governor.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) leads the pack in that race with 30 percent support, with California Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) at 22 percent, Villaraigosa at 13 percent, current Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) at 11 percent, California state Treasurer John Chiang (D) at 10 percent, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer (D) at 4 percent.
Newsom would lead Villaraigosa by 42 percent to 22 percent in a head-to-head match-up.
The automated poll of 824 California voters was conducted from Feb. 6-8.
— This post was updated at 10:45 a.m.