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Republican Steve Garvey’s impressive ascent to the top of a California poll

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The latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by The Times shows Republican Steve Garvey with a slight lead with days to go in the primary election for U.S. Senator.

The poll shows a remarkable surge in support for the former Dodger in a race in which three well-known Democrats — Reps. Adam B. Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee — are battling.

It’s the latest indication that Garvey could win one of two slots in the general election, which still heavily favors the Democratic candidate.

How did Garvey get here? Here is an explainer from the pages of The Times:

Table of Contents

The primary election: Good for Garvey

Garvey is favored by 27% of likely voters, Schiff 25% and Porter 19%. Lee (D-Oakland) garners 8%, while 12% of likely voters pick a different candidate and 9% are undecided.

In effect, Garvey and Schiff are tied because the difference is within the poll margin of error,

The general election: Good for Schiff

Schiff (D-Burbank) would be an overwhelming favorite to beat Garvey in heavily Democratic California. The poll finds Schiff starting with a significant lead in a two-way matchup, 53% to 38%, with 9% undecided. By contrast, a general election between Schiff and Porter (D-Irvine) would start out tied, with 4 in 10 voters undecided, the poll found.

The Garvey surge

In a deep blue state like California, it might seem like a surprise that a Republican can take the lead in a primary election. But this is an unusual one. The Democratic primary is very competitive, with Porter and Schiff major figures in the party and Lee a popular figure with the left. So they are dividing Democratic votes in the deeply blue state.

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In early polls, Garvey did not do all that well. But recent polls have shown a surge as he’s become better known — particularly among Republicans.

Why? Garvey’s campaign has spent just $1.4 million through mid-February, a tiny fraction of the money Schiff and Porter raised.

But Garvey has gotten some help… from Schiff.

Head shots of two men and a woman

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, left, former Dodgers star Steve Garvey and Rep. Katie Porter

(Los Angeles Times)

The ads

Schiff has spent upward of $25 million on television advertising, most of which has framed the contest as a two-candidate race between him and Garvey. An outside group of Schiff allies has spent roughly an additional $10 million on a similar effort.

“Two leading candidates for Senate. Two very different visions for California,” a narrator intones, noting later that Garvey “is too conservative for California” and voted for Donald Trump twice.

Times political reporter Benjamin Oreskes explained the strategy this way: “While the message will turn off Democratic voters in the state, it may increase the former baseball player’s appeal to Republican voters — as it is designed to do, according to two political strategists.”

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NASA is Developing an Electrodynamic Shield to Address Lunar and Martian Dust Challenges

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NASA is tirelessly working on addressing the challenges posed by dust on the Moon and Mars. The lunar surface is covered in regolith, a jagged and abrasive material that can cause damage to equipment and pose health risks to astronauts. Additionally, dust accumulation on surfaces like solar panels can lead to decreased power output, creating further complications for manned missions to Mars.

To combat these issues, NASA has developed an innovative solution in the form of an Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS). This shield utilizes transparent electrodes and electric fields to electrically remove dust from surfaces, inspired by a concept developed by NASA in 1967. The technology has been in development since 2004 and is currently being tested by researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The EDS has shown promising results in vacuum chamber tests simulating the space environment, with lunar regolith samples used for testing. The material was successfully ejected from surfaces within seconds, demonstrating the shield’s efficacy in removing dust. Additionally, EDS materials have been embedded on glass panels, test spacesuit fabrics, and even camera lenses onboard the International Space Station and lunar landers.

Dr. Charles Buhler, lead scientist on the project, emphasized the importance of protecting equipment and habitats from dust exposure on lunar missions. The abrasive nature of lunar dust, coupled with its ability to compromise seals and hatches, makes it a significant concern for future missions. The EDS technology shows great promise in mitigating these risks and ensuring the safety of astronauts and machinery on dusty worlds.

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As NASA continues to advance the development of the Electrodynamic Dust Shield, future missions will further test its capabilities in real-world environments. The technology holds great potential in safeguarding against the challenges posed by dust and ensuring the success of manned missions to the Moon and Mars.

For more information on NASA’s groundbreaking technology to combat lunar dust, visit the official NASA website at NASA Technology Helps Guard Against Lunar Dust.

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