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News coverage

The U.S. Senate Debate at University of the Pacific on April 25, 2016, made headlines across California and beyond, reaching an estimated 6.4 million people via TV, radio and print - plus up to 44 million more on news websites. 

Broadcast highlights:

Los Angeles

  • KCOP-My13 
  • KCAL 9

San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose

  • KNTV-NBC3 
  • KGO-ABC 7
  • KPIX-CBS 5
  • KRON 4
  • KBCW
  • KQED-FM-PBS Radio
  • KSTS Telemundo

San Diego

  • KGTV-ABC10


  • KCRA-NBC 3
  • KOVR-CBS 13
  • KCRA-NBC 3
  • KXJZ-Capital Public Radio



Santa Barbara






Print highlights: April 25, 2016

Associated Press 
U.S. Senate debate draws contrasts in tone between Democrats 
"The debate between five leading Senate candidates, Democratic and Republican, at the University of the Pacific  in Stockton, delivered no major gaffes, no knockouts and no zingers, instead giving voters a look at the contrasting personality styles of Harris and Sanchez and the three Republicans trying to edge their way into California's primary." Wire story was carried by major newspaper and broadcast websites across the country, including the Denver Post.

Los Angeles Times 
Kamala Harris in driver's seat at California's first U.S. Senate debate 
"The five candidates on stage at the debate at the University of the Pacific  in Stockton provided vastly different viewpoints of President Obama's record on foreign policy and keeping America safe from terrorists attacks." 

Los Angeles Times 
California Senate debate: Sanchez under scrutiny as five candidates sparred in Stockton
As he paced outside the University of the Pacific  hall that will host tonight's U.S. Senate debate, Republican candidate George "Duf" Sundheim compared the experience to the excitement he felt before a football game. 
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Los Angeles Times 
Controversial English-only crusader sets his sights on California's Senate race
"Just three weeks after the Silicon Valley multimillionaire jumped into the race, an April 9 Field Poll put (Ron) Unz in third place -- far behind Harris and Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez and a mere 1% ahead of GOP rival Tom Del Beccaro -- among Californians expected to vote in the June primary. That performance was enough to earn him an invitation to the first Senate debate on Monday at the University of the Pacific in Stockton." 
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San Francisco Chronicle 
Even Republicans swing left in 1st California U.S. Senate debate "
In an unusual moment in California politics, two Democrats and three Republicans shared a debate stage. Co-sponsored by the Chronicle, KCRA-TV of Sacramento and the University of the Pacific, the debate on the Stockton campus was one of only two multiparty primary debates scheduled before California's June 7 primary and the only one to be televised live across the state and streamed digitally. The top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in November. 
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Sacramento Bee 
California U.S. Senate candidates quarrel over illegal immigration 
"Republican Duf Sundheim and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, jab at each other on immigration at the U.S. Senate debate at University of the Pacific  in Stockton, Calif. On Monday, April 25, 2016." Story is accompanied by debate video from KCRA. 

Orange County Register 
Loretta Sanchez stands her ground on Muslims comment
Photo slideshow includes image with this caption: "California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, arrives at the DeRosa University Center for the first debate among the five U.S. Senate candidates at the University of the Pacific  on Monday in Stockton." 
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The Record 
The great debate
"It wasn't so much the candidates, or their sound bites, or the key policies they discussed that made an impression on four young University of the Pacific  students who witnessed Monday night's rare U.S. Senate debate in Stockton. Rather, it was this sudden realization: That the political process is not as distant and unreachable as it sometimes seems to so many increasingly alienated voters ... For 90 minutes, her friends and close to 400 other people packed a ballroom on the first floor of the DeRosa University Center and watched a debate the likes of which hadn't been seen in California since before many Pacific students were born." The Record website posted multiple video excerpts from the debate. 
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The Record 
Cheers: Debate a positive for Pacific, Stockton 
"University of the Pacific  became a player in the key race by hosting a debate for the top candidates Monday night. This was a great opportunity for the university and the San Joaquin Valley as a whole to get a close-up look at candidates for a key race. The valley often is eschewed for the Bay Area or Los Angeles area in campaigning for such races. Kudos to Pacific for helping bring the debate to Stockton. 
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Central Valley Business Journal 
Senate candidates debate in Stockton
California voters got their first real look at the five leading candidates for U.S. Senate Monday night when they faced off in the first televised debate on Stockton's University of the Pacific  campus. "I think this debate is a chance for any of the candidates to define themselves," said Pacific political science professor Jeffrey Becker.

Pre-debate coverage   

San Francisco Chronicle 
TV Senate debate offers rarity: Dems, Republicans on same stage 
April 24, 2016 
At 6 p.m., two Democratic and three Republican Senate candidates will meet for a 90-minute debate at the University of the Pacific  in Stockton. Co-sponsored by The Chronicle and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, it is one of only two multiparty primary debates scheduled before California's June 7 primary and the only one that will be televised live across the state and streamed digitally. 
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San Francisco Chronicle 
California gets to judge its would-be senators 
April 23, 2016 
"In this election year, with the extended-play presidential primaries absorbing the political world's fascination, many voters may not have noticed the race to succeed Boxer. It's time to pay attention. Californians will get a chance at 6 p.m. Monday to judge the five leading contenders for U.S. Senate in what is expected to be their only statewide televised debate. The Chronicle-KCRA debate at the University of the Pacific in Stockton will feature Democrats Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, former Republican state party chairs Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim, and Republican Ron Unz, champion of a 1998 initiative to scale back bilingual education. 
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Huffington Post 
In sleeper race, voters deserve more debates for California's U.S. Senate seat 
April 22, 2016 
"This is a generationally-important race for a U.S. Senate seat that one of the candidates can potentially hold on to for decades. It's a seat for the highest legislative office in arguably the world, and from the most populous state in the nation. Moreover, it's a platform to create monumental, long-lasting change. With so much awesome power and possibility on the line for whoever becomes California's next U.S. Senator - how come there are so few debates? Sure, there's one coming up next week hosted by the University of the Pacific, and a sprinkling of only a few other debates before the primary on June 7th. But don't voters deserve more?" 
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U.S. Senate candidates to face off at UOP debate 
April 24, 2016 
Serena Welch, ASuop President, and Brian Klunk, chair of the Department of Political Science, were interviewed. "It's an opportunity to be informed and to make great decisions on who their future leaders will be," Welch said. Klunk noted that it's possible that two candidates from the same party could emerge as winners in the June 7 primary. "California is one of the handful of states that uses a top-two system in our first election," Klunk said. "So it's really important to see all the candidates from the major parties, so voters can make those comparisons."
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Sacramento Bee 
AM Alert 
April 24, 2016 
"TIME TO RUMBLE: For the first time in this U.S. Senate race, all the leading candidates will gather on the same stage for a debate. Contenders at the University of the Pacific in Stockton tonight include California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Orange, former California Republican Party officials Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim, and Republican businessman Ron Unz. The debate kicks off at 6 p.m. The most recent polling suggests much of the vote remains up for grabs.
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The Record 
Debate a 'big step' for Pacific 
April 21, 2016 
"At 21 years old, Serena Welch  wasn't even born the last time California had an open seat in the U.S. Senate. Sometime Monday night, the University of the Pacific student-body president will stand in the middle of a crowded ballroom, take the microphone and, on live television, ask a single question of five candidates vying to replace outgoing Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer." Welch and Keith Smith, associate professor of political science, are quoted. 
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Lodi News-Sentinel 
University of the Pacific to host Senate debate Monday 
April 20, 2016 
"The big question in this race, given the new top two system, is that only two candidates will make the general election. It's possible that there will be two Democrats on the ballot," said Keith Smith, an associate professor of political science at University of the Pacific. "The two Republican candidates are not well known, both former Republican Party chairmen, but neither have held major offices." Serena Welch, ASuop president, added: "It's a great opportunity for students to go to an event like this. My hope is for students to get involved in the political process and have voices heard," Welch said. President Pam Eibeck commented: "California's Central Valley will play a critical role in this election, so it is fitting that the candidates have chosen to debate here in Stockton. The debate will also be a tremendous opportunity for our students to engage in the political process." 
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