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CA17: Poll shows Honda with commanding lead

A new poll shows Rep. Mike Honda with a commanding lead over fellow Democrat Ro Khanna and two Republicans in the June 3 primary election.

Honda, D-San Jose, is at 40 percent, Khanna is at 21 percent, Vanila Singh is at 8 percent and Joel VanLandingham is at 6 percent with 24 percent still undecided, in the poll of 528 17th Congressional District voters who either already have cast vote-by-mail ballots or are likely to vote by or on June 3.

The poll – conducted Tuesday through Thursday by SurveyUSA on behalf of San Francisco’s KPIX-TV – has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

“This poll shows that voters overwhelmingly prefer Congressman Honda and want him to continue his record of delivering for the district,” Doug Greven, Honda’s campaign manager, said Friday. “Mike Honda has a strong 40 percent in a four-way primary race, while Ro Khanna has squandered what was once a $1.3 million advantage last year to barely get half the support that Congressman Honda has.”

The poll’s release comes on the heels of new Federal Election Commission reports showing Honda’s campaign now has a slight cash-on-hand edge over Khanna’s for the first time, pointing to a more level playing field this summer and fall should the two of them finish on top in the June 3 primary.

But those now supporting Singh or VanLandingham might be more inclined to vote in November for Khanna than for Honda, who is one of the House’s most liberal members. And this poll already shows Khanna leading Honda among independents, who account for almost 32 percent of the district’s registered voters.

“We’re pulling close and have the momentum because Ro is laying out a concrete and positive vision for how to prepare people for the jobs of the 21st Century and how to reform the dysfunctional Congress that is standing in the way of that progress,” Khanna spokesman Tyler Law said Friday. “People are tired of the status quo and are looking for fresh energy and a new direction. That’s what Ro’s offering and the voters are responding.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.