Republican pollster American Viewpoint returned a survey in California’s 21st District, a seat that encompasses parts of the cities of Fresno and Bakersfield (9/8-10; 400 CA-21 likely voters; live interview), and sees former US Rep. David Valadao (R) leading freshman Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Fresno) by a 49-38% margin. In 2018, Rep. Cox unseated Mr. Valadao by an 862-vote margin. The Republican appears to be in strong shape for the general election even though President Trump will lose this district.
California’s 50th District is regarded as a Republican district, but the new Survey USA open seat poll finds a tight race between former US Rep. Darrell Issa (R) and 2018 congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar (D), a media consultant. The S-USA data (9/4-7; 508 CA-50 likely voters) projects Mr. Issa leading only by one percentage point, 46-45%, and detects a severe gender gap. Men break for Mr. Issa, 56-35%, while women support Mr. Campa-Najjar in a similar 54-36% clip.
California Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) is leaving his congressional position to assume a seat on the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, a post he won outright in the district-wide non-partisan primary election held in March. The 8th CD, that stretches from San Bernardino all the way up the eastern California border beyond Yosemite National Park and almost to Lake Tahoe, is one of the few Republican domains in the state. In the general election, state Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) faces Democrat Chris Bubser, an engineer and biotech consultant from Mammoth Lakes.
Democratic pollster Global Strategy Group just released an earlier survey of the Obernolte-Busber race (8/1-5; 400 CA-8 likely general election voters) and found the GOP Assemblyman holding a ten-point, 48-38% advantage. In 2016, President Trump carried the district, 55-40%. In his four congressional elections, Rep. Cook averaged 61.8% of the general election vote.
Ending months of speculation, former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he has chosen California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Biden pledged to choose a woman as his Vice Presidential partner and fulfilled his commitment with Sen. Harris. As time progressed, the pressure became intense for him to choose a woman of color, which he also now has done. It remains to be seen, however, if she can deliver key votes in the swing states. During her presidential run, which ended even before the Iowa Caucus was held, Sen. Harris averaged only 5.4% in 94 publicly released polls from June until her exit day in the ten states most likely to be determinative in the general election.
California Freshman Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda) defeated former state Assemblywoman Young Kim (R) in 2018, relying on ballots arriving after the election to score a 52-48% victory. A new Public Opinion Strategies poll (7/27-30; 400 CA-39 likely voters) finds Rep. Cisneros leading Ms. Kim, 47-45%. The 2020 version of the Cisneros-Kim match-up appears just as competitive as their 2018 contest. In addition to tight polling, both candidates are showing cash-on-hand figures of approximately $1.6 million in their campaign accounts. The 39th has a Republican history, but Hillary Clinton scored a 51-43% victory here in 2016 as a precursor to Rep. Cisneros’ 2018 win.
Special election winner Mike Garcia (R-CA) appears in strong position for the regular 2020 election, too. The latest American Viewpoint survey (7/26-28; 400 CA-25 likely voters) finds the new Congressman leading his Democratic opponent, Assemblywoman Christie Smith whom he defeated with a ten-point margin in May, by seven points, 48-41%.
Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners released a survey (released 7/28; 650 CA-4 likely general election voters via interactive response device) that shows a close race between veteran Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove/Sacramento) and his challenger, software executive Brynne Kennedy (D). The ballot test gave Rep. McClintock only a 45-42% lead while President Trump is only up one percentage point in one of the eight California districts (of 53) that elects a Republican to the House.
The polling is similar to what we saw here in 2018 when Rep. McClintock was running against challenger Jessica Morse. Despite Ms. Morse spending approximately $2 million more than Rep. McClintock, the Congressman was re-elected with a 54-46% margin. Ms. Kennedy has slightly outraised the Congressman, $1.46 million to $1.37 million in this election cycle, but Mr. McClintock has a cash-on-hand advantage of $646,000 to $356,000.
Under a bill that just passed the California Assembly, the already notoriously slow California post-election counting period that often takes weeks to determine a winner in a close election, would grow even longer. In an effort to stop a lawsuit that says Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) does not have the power to order the Secretary of State to mail a live ballot to all California voters, the Assembly passed a measure to codify that power and, among other points, would expand the post-election ballot reception period from three to 17 days. The bill must now pass the state Senate before moving to Gov. Newsom for his signature.
Once this bill becomes law, it could be well into December before some close election Golden State winners are declared.
The Republican National Committee and California Republican Party have filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of California attempting to declare unlawful Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) executive order that all voters be mailed absentee ballots for the coming general election. Previously, absentee ballot request forms were sent prior to a qualified voter receiving an actual ballot.
Among other points, the lawsuit contends that, “automatically mail(ing) ballots to inactive voters…invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting. Fraudulent and invalid votes dilute the votes of honest citizens and deprive them of their right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
On the heels of Republican Mike Garcia’s victory in the CA-25 special congressional election, the FiveThirtyEight Polls web page published the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) Targeting and Analytics Department last survey of the race (5/8-10; 675 CA-25 voters). They found their candidate, state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Newhall), leading 48-46%. The actual reported preliminary total: Garcia, 56-44%.
The DCCC claims their sample for this poll was a universe for the upcoming general election. Thus, they claim, defeated candidate Smith is still in the game for November. This poll, however, was completed two days before the May 12th special, which makes it hard to believe their main focus was the regular general election.
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