First-time candidate Harley Rouda narrowly leads 30-year incumbent Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin’s push poll) in the 48th congressional district race, according to poll results released this morning.
New Jersey-based Monmouth University Polling Institute is conducting polls in hotly contested congressional districts around the country, including California’s 48th district, which had been solidly Republican-leaning for decades. Though Rohrabacher easily won reelection in November 2016, Democrats have poured tons of money into the district because Hillary Clinton received more votes there than Donald Trump did. The 48th has since been labeled a toss-up.
Conducted July 11-15 among 402 voters in the district–and with a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points for the full sample and 5.2 percentage points for likely voters–the Monmouth poll found Rouda leading Rohrabacher 46 percent to 43 percent among all voters. When using a historical midterm model, it’s Rouda over Rohrabacher 47 percent to 45 percent, and the Democrat leads by 4 points when turnout is surging in precincts where his party is the majority.
Pollsters found Rouda with a 27-point lead among black, Asian and Latino voters, both candidates nearly tied among college-educated white voters, and Rohrabacher with a double-digit lead among white voters with no degrees.
In terms of favorability, 32 percent have a favorable opinion of Rohrabacher and 33 percent have an unfavorable one. Rouda has a 27 percent favorable opinion, a 13 percent unfavorable one and–given that he is relatively unknown when compared to a 30-year incumbent–60 percent have no opinion at all about him.
Rouda is slightly more favorable among Democrats than Rohrabacher is with Republicans, according to pollsters, who notetheless caution that, based on where things stood at the time the survey was taken, the challenger will still have to fire up his base to prevent another two-year term for the incumbent.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.