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CA17: Mike Honda’s allies cite favorable poll

By Josh Richman
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 2:30 am in 2014 primary, Mike Honda, polls, U.S. House.

Rep. Mike Honda holds a lead of at least 19 percentage points over Democratic challenger Ro Khanna, according to a new poll released Thursday morning by a national liberal group that’s backing Honda.

The poll of 17th Congressional District voters conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Democracy for America found Honda, D-San Jose, leading Khanna by 19 points when they and a third candidate, Republican Vanila Singh, are identified by their party affiliations. In fact, Singh finished ahead of Khanna though within the poll’s margin of error.

Without being told the canddiates’ party affiliations, voters preferred Honda over Khanna by 35 percentage points, with Singh a distant third. In one-on-one matches, Honda led Khanna by 22 points and led Singh by 38 points. And the poll found 61 percent of respondents approve of Honda’s job performance.

“Mike Honda has earned the support of Silicon Valley voters and he continues to have their support today, no matter how many max-out contributions millionaire and billionaire CEOs and executives pour into Vanila Singh and Ro Khanna’s campaigns,” said Democracy for America executive director Charles Chamberlain.

Honda and Khanna have been pot-shotting each other for months, with Honda accusing Khanna of being in the pocket of Silicon Valley millionaires while Khanna notes Honda is accepting a lot of PAC and Washington money while Khanna’s fundraising base is more Bay Area-centric.

Without taking the poll as gospel, Khanna’s campaign still sees progress.

“It is encouraging to know that, in a matter of months, Ro has increased his support from 5 percent to 26 percent while Rep. Honda’s lead has plummeted from 52 to 19 points and he’s now well under 50 percent – a danger sign for any incumbent,” Khanna spokesman Tyler Law said Wednesday night. “It’s clear that Ro’s campaign of energy and ideas is connecting with voters, who are tired of the stasis and dysfunction in Congress. The trends are very much in favor of change this November.”

Follow after the jump to see the results as presented by DFA:

NEW CA-17 polling via Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Democracy for America (Feb. 13-16, 2014):

If the election for U.S. Congress were held today, and the choices were Democrat Ro Khanna, Republican Vanila Singh, or Democrat Mike Honda, for whom would you vote?
Ro Khanna………………………………………………26%
Vanila Singh…………………………………………….29%
Mike Honda…………………………………………….. 45%
(Asked of 270 CA-17 voters – MOE 6%)

If the election for U.S. Congress were held today, and the choices were Ro Khanna, Vanila Singh, and Mike Honda, for whom would you vote?
Ro Khanna ……………………………………………… 27%
Vanila Singh ……………………………………………. 11%
Mike Honda…………………………………………….. 62%
(Asked of 235 CA-17 voters – MOE 6.4% )

If the election for U.S. Congress were held today, and the choices were Democrat Ro Khanna and Democrat Mike Honda, for whom would you vote?
Ro Khanna………………………………………………39%
Mike Honda…………………………………………….. 61%
(Asked of 505 CA-17 voters – MOE 4.4% )

If the election for U.S. Congress were held today, and the choices were Republican Vanila Singh and Democrat Mike Honda, for whom would you vote?
Vanila Singh ……………………………………………. 31%
Mike Honda…………………………………………….. 69%
(Asked of 505 CA-17 voters – MOE 4.4% )

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mike Honda is handling his job as U.S. Congressman?
Approve …………………………………………………. 61%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 31%
No opinion………………………………………………. 8%
(Asked of 505 CA-17 voters – MOE 4.4% )

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  • Willis James

    Not impressed. At this point most voters have yet to ever hear of Khanna.

    They simply don’t know who he is, and Honda is a name they have heard.

    Honda probably gets 2% to 3% from the car brand sounding familiar, or from Robert Handa reporting the news so frequently.

    I wonder what the polls were saying about the Stark/Swalwell race in February of 2012?

    Sure it will still be tough to defeat a incumbent who is “nice guy”, but when questions are asked about the future, people may want more then a nice guy.

    The crucial statistic is Honda only getting 45% in a three way race.

    Honda against mostly unknowns and cant’ get a majority.

    Again, back to Stark in February of 2012, against Swalwell and Parejad

    Scary results if you are Honda
    June, 2012
    Stark received about 42% of the vote, compared to 36% for Swalwell and 22% for Parejad

    Ro Khanna………………………………………………26%
    Vanila Singh…………………………………………….29%
    Mike Honda…………………………………………….. 45%

    A couple of poor performances at debates and this thing will be neck and neck.

  • JohnW

    Besides the new open/top two primary system, Swalwell had two huge factors in his favor: Stark’s high negatives and redistricting. RoK has neither of those working for him.

  • Willis James

    But Honda still only garners 45% of the vote in that poll.
    That, with the current district and against 2 candidates that are hardly known at this point.
    That, with a incumbent who is said to be “well liked”…

    Thus the fact that RoK and VanilaS are doing so swell is even scarier than Starks condition in early 2012.
    Stark was disliked by many and in the new district, yet still received 42%.
    Honda seems to already be leaking gas with all the positives in place.

    This poll can be seen has the glass half empty or half fulll for Honda and RoK.

    (disclosure– I don’t live in the district and don’t work for any candidate)

  • Marga

    The numbers don’t look good for Honda. At this point, before the campaign blasts start, I think what see is a referendum on the incumbent. And he’s now at 45% vs 52% a year ago. Of course, the margin of error is pretty large.

  • SVDOUG

    To put this poll in perspective, in 2012, Mike Honda won with 73% of the vote and the Republican got 26% of the vote without a significant campaign. Ro Khanna campaign’s has already has over one third of what Honda got in 2012 up from 5% in the earlier poll which is impressive progress. Vanila Singh is basically pulling the Republican base vote with the margin of error in this poll. We still have more than three months to go and a debate could be key to this race.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    You meet the nicest people on a Honda

  • JohnW

    Wishful interpretation of the polls, but may you have fair winds and following seas.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    RoKha ain’t been elected nothin ‘cept maybe student council in middle school. He’s a lazy, disloyal party hack who won’t dare challenge a conservative. Replacing Honda with a young Obama-ite won’t create a single benefit for anybody

  • Elwood

    Debates? Do you know something the rest of us don’t?

    I bet Honda’s staff is working day and night to schedule all those debates. Stand by for dramatic announcements any day now.

  • Willis James

    “Who won’t dare challenge a conservative”

    As though there has been a local conservative candidate to challenge in the past 3 decades.

    Even the Republican candidate in this race is just plain Vanila

  • JohnW

    Well, something he can do solo that sounds like debates.

  • Marga

    Not only that, but other than talking in general terms against Obamacare, her only issue is giving Modi a visa.

  • Marga

    Actually, looking at the numbers carefully, it would seem that the Khanna has a very firm hold in 26% of the vote – and that it’s all Democratic vote.

    When you put Khanna against Honda without Singh, they pretty much split the Republican vote down the middle, Khanna gets 13 Republican points vs. Honda’s 16.

    But this is before Khanna has campaigned, and before he has introduced himself to voters. Chances are that conservative Republicans have no idea who he is, and Honda’s higher name recognition explains the extra points.

    I didn’t think that Honda was in this much trouble.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Ro the Bot could run anywhere in Calif. but he digs the primary route because he would rather test an old guy in the same party. It’s much easier that way—not staking out too many new positions. In the 1-party Bay Area people’s democracy, it’s sensible. But there isn’t a groundswell opposing Honda; he doesn’t alienate folks the way Stark did. If Honda stays healthy and predictable, he’ll survive.

  • Marga

    That’s actually pretty unfair. Ro has lived in Fremont for many years. Fremont is divided into two Congressional districts. He actually lives in CD 17, but would have run in CD 15 if it was an open seat. Honda, meanwhile, actually does not (or did not) live within the current boundaries of CD 17, but ran there because he didn’t want to run against an incumbent. Meanwhile, Corbett has lived in San Leandro all her life, but when redistricting put San Leandro in CD 13, she decided to move to Hayward so she could run in CD 15, rather than challenge Barbara Lee. Then take Garamendi who also didn’t use to live in his district.

    This is all to say that it’s not uncommon for people to run for the district adjacent to the one they live in, as lines can be rather arbitrary.

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  • Marga

    BTW, I wrote an article expanding on my last comment available at: http://sanleandrotalk.voxpublica.org/2014/03/02/hondas-new-poll-shows-khannas-path-to-victory/

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