In California’s 48th Congressional District, the race between Dana Rohrabacher (R) and challenger Harley Rouda (D) remains tight as Rohrabacher jumps into the lead according to the latest poll of the Orange County area.
The poll, released today by Monmouth University casts Rohrabacher with support from 50% of likely voters and Democrat Harley Rouda only 2 points behind with 48%. Unfortunately for the Democrat, this month’s survey has fluctuated in favor of Rohrabacher as the same pollster plotted Rouda ahead of the incumbent Republican back in July when he led with a 46% to 43% advantage.
The swing in percentage points and uptick in Republican enthusiasm comes as President Trump’s approval ratings have seen a recent pickup according to two polls. Furthermore, the district’s own opinion of Trump has also soared nearly 5 points as it stands at a 54% approval rating. “The winds in this race have started to blow a little more in the Republican’s favor,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth poll.
Back in June, few election fanatics would have picked this race to develop into such a toss-up, however, the 15-term incumbent has lacked to gain the support of prevalent GOP leaders. This surprising blow has fueled the Democrat’s focus in an effort to flip this seat and more importantly the House.
According to OpenSecrets, Rouda has succeeded in outraising the Republican by over $3.5 million. The most raised by a 48th district Democrat in nearly two decades. Still, in what might normally be a much larger lead, Rohrabacher has managed to outmaneuver his opponent.
The poll also identifies the biggest policy issues constituents in the district care about, which listed immigration as number one ahead of health care and taxes. Perhaps this is where the Republican has been able to shine. “In other districts we’ve polled, immigration takes a back seat to health care among voter concerns and the Democratic candidate usually has a clear advantage on it. Neither of those trends apply in this case. Rohrabacher has been successful in focusing the electorate on an issue where he has the edge,” said Murray.
During the past two years, Rohrabacher has proven to be a strong supporter and loyal confidant to President Trump. Standing with him on immigration policy and disavowing the Russian collusion allegations the two appear to have a positive working relationship and this appears to be boding well for him.
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