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New Berkeley Poll Pits California Republicans Against the Odds

Several Key Congressional Districts Appear to be Leaning Left

By Sean Brown, October 8, 2018 6:57 pm

A newly released Berkeley IGS Poll of slightly over 5,000 likely voters in eight Congressional districts in California found that Democratic candidates are “well positioned to capture a number of GOP held seats.” According to the poll, Democrats lead comfortably in two of the districts, hold a small advantage in two others, and are in statistical dead heats in three of the four others.

The poll, conducted on-line via email by the University of California Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies for the Los Angeles Times, links President Trump’s approval ratings to the potential demise of Republican candidates.

The Poll asked candidates if they were to vote today, who they would vote for in the U.S. House of Representatives in their district. It then asked the voter whether they approved or disapproved of the job Donald Trump is doing as President and whether their vote is linked to that approval or disapproval.

The poll seems to show that “the shadow of President Donald Trump looms large over voters in each district and appears to be a reason why a number of these historically Republican-leaning districts are in play. This is because many voters consider their preferences for Congress to be importantly tied to their views about Trump, and in most of the districts significantly more likely voters disapprove than approve of the President’s performance. There is a direct relationship between voter support for the Republican candidates in each district and their views about Trump’s job rating.”

According to the LA Times, “Republicans are at risk of a wipeout in California’s six most hotly contested congressional races…a result that could radically reshape the state’s political map, with major consequences nationally.” With the November 6th midterms just weeks away, here is what the poll indicates for the six Democrat-targeted races they aim to sweep in order to take control of the House:

In the 49th district, covering southern Orange and northern San Diego counties, Democrat Mike Levin leads Republican opponent Diane Harkey by 14 points, 55% to 41%. This open seat is to replace retiring Republican Darrell Issa.

In the 45th district, covering Orange County, Democrat Katie Porter leads Republican incumbent Mimi Walters by 7 points, 52% to 45%.

In the 10th district, covering the Central Valley, Democrat Josh Harder leads Republican incumbent Jeff Denham, by 5 points, 50% to 45%.

Longtime Republican Incumbent Steve Knight (steveknight.org)

In the 25th district, Democrat Katie Hill narrowly leads longtime Republican incumbent Steve Knight 4 points, 50% to 46%, in the only remaining Los Angeles district the Republicans hold.

In the 39th district, that includes parts of northern Orange, southeastern and western San Bernardino counties, Democrat Gil Cisneros leads 49% to 48% over former Republican Assemblywoman Young Kim. This open seat is to replace retiring Republican Ed Royce.

In the 48th district, which covers parts of the Orange County coast from Laguna Niguel to Seal Beach and inland to Westminster and Fountain Valley, Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat challenger Harley Rouda are neck and neck at 48% each.

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