Republican Senate Candidate, Who Has Called for Country 'Free From Jews,' Could Be Dianne Feinstein's Challenger

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) heads to the Senate Chamber on April 26, in Washington, D.C. One of her potential opponents in her bid for re-election in November is Patrick Little, an extremist with hardline anti-Semitic views who is backed by David Duke and other far-right extremists. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Overt anti-Semites have been slowly creeping into Republican politics in the aftermath of President Trump's successful, populist candidacy, and now one of them has a fighting chance of representing the Republican Party in a Senate race.

The man in question is Patrick Little, an extremist with hardline anti-Semitic views who is backed by David Duke and other far-right extremists. Little will be squaring off in a top-two primary with 10 other Republicans as well as Democrats and independents on June 5 for the chance to oppose veteran Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. According to a recent poll, released last week, he very much has a chance of winning the right to face off with the incumbent.

A poll conducted by local ABC News affiliates along with the polling company Survey USA, suggested that Little is polling at 18 percent of the vote on the Republican ticket, a full 10 points ahead of his next strongest opponent. The 84-year-old Feinstein, who entered office in 1992, at the start of Bill Clinton's first term, remains a solid favorite to win the state—polling at 39 percent.

It's unclear how predictive the poll will prove to be, or whether many Californians are intimately familiar with Little's views, but the notion that he has any viability at all in the state is likely to raise alarm. Little has said he believes Jews should have no say over white non-Jews and wants to see them removed from the country altogether. On Gab, a social media site with large swaths of extremist users, he argues that the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, whose proprietors praise Adolf Hitler and have appeared to call for acts of violence against Jewish people, is too Jewish.

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"I propose a government that makes counter-semitism central to all aims of the state," he wrote on that website, referring to a white nationalist euphemism for a hatred of Jews. He argued for forbidding "all immigration except of biological kin, where no person of Jewish origin may live, vacation or traverse."

He also wrote that he wanted to keep Americans "free from Jews."

Matt Barreto, a professor of political sciences at University of California, Los Angeles, told Newsweek that while the poll is concerning due to Little's views, it isn't a strong indicator that he will ever become Senator.

"There's been no campaign to speak of. All the discussion has been between Feinstein and [Democratic challenger] Kevin de León," Barreto said. "I don't believe that this candidate has much outreach."

He noted that many people may have no idea who Little is, and are simply responding to the fact that his name was grouped with the Republicans. He said that if his views became more widely known, it would likely sink his candidacy.

Little posts anti-Semitic content on Gab, a social media platform that is replete with extremists. GAB

"This is the whole reason Trump won the election," he said. "Republicans voted for a Republican even if they didn't think they would vote for Trump."

Barreto noted that Democrats dominate California politics and that the state Republican party is focused on issues of taxation. He described them as being more open-minded than the national party on issues like immigration, gay marriage and marijuana legalization, even if there are pockets of white supremacist voters in places like Orange County.

Little did not respond to a request for comment on this story. His overtly anti-Semitic posts in the runup to an election follow the candidacy of Wisconsin-based Republican congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, who has veered so far to the right that he has been disavowed by some prominent white nationalists.

White Supremacist Richard Spencer wrote on Twitter this month that Nehlen "needs to just go away," suggesting that he had embarrassed their cause of building a state for only whites by being too openly prejudiced. Most recently, Nehlen appeared on an extremist podcast inspired by racist mass murderer Dylann Roof. It's unclear whether or not Little, whose political ambitions have so far received less scrutiny than Nehlen's, will be similarly disavowed.

Little is a vocal fan of Christopher Cantwell, an anti-Semitic podcast host and one of the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017. Cantwell is an outspoken supporter of Adolf Hitler has made a hatred of Jews the crux of his political argument when he speaks to his audience. He told Newsweek Friday that Little has a slim chance of winning, even if they share the same prejudices.

"I cannot claim to have familiarized myself with the mechanics of that race well enough to say," Cantwell said. "However, I have my doubts that Holocaust revisionism polls well amongst Californians of any party."