CA17: Mike Honda outraises Ro Khanna again

Rep. Mike Honda significantly outraised his Democratic challenger, Ro Khanna, in the year’s second quarter and has considerably more money with which to start their general-election showdown, according to Federal Election Commission reports provided by the candidates Tuesday.

Honda, D-San Jose, finished first in the June 3 primary election with 48.2 percent of the vote, while Khanna – a former Obama administration official from Fremont – finished second with 28 percent. Two Republican candidates, Vanila Singh and Joel VanLandingham, finished further back and so were eliminated.

honda.jpgA report provided by Honda’s campaign Tuesday, combined with the one filed in mid-May, show he raised $522,086.37 while spending $542,605.07 from April 1 through June 30. This left him with $1,063,355.97 cash on hand as of June 30, but he also had $7,176.83 in debts, so his unencumbered cash was $1,056,179.14.

“Following the decisive 20-point win in the primary last month, the Honda campaign continues its strong fundraising leading up to the November election,” campaign manager Doug Greven said in a news release. “Mike Honda’s network of grassroots supporters – more than 7,000 of whom have given to the campaign so far – continues to grow.”

“We are going to keep this fundraising pace going and will have the resources to win in November while our debt-ridden challenger has some serious catching up to do,” Greven said.

Ro KhannaKhanna’s report filed Tuesday, plus the one he filed in mid-May, show he raised $337,673.26 in the second quarter while spending a tremendous $1,461,930.52 – which accounts for almost half of his total spending since the campaign began. This left him with $867,672.16 cash on hand as of June 30, but he also had $239,131.92 in debts, so his unencumbered cash was $628,540.24.

“There are only two numbers that matter in this reporting period: 50 and 202,” Khanna campaign manager Leah Cowan insisted in a news release. “That’s because a majority of Ro’s donations were under $50, while Rep. Honda doubled down on his 202 area code fundraising amongst Washington special interests. Understandably, the Honda campaign is eager to change the story after burning well over a million dollars and relying on desperate false attacks just to lose a majority of the vote. It’s become clearer than ever that voters will be supporting change in November, just as they did in the primary.”

That said, Honda begins the general-election race with a 20-point primary win, a big edge in money, the name recognition of seven terms in office, and the bully pulpit of incumbency. Khanna aired several television ads before the primary; Honda has yet to go on the air.

Read more, after the jump…

Though some had assumed that Republican voters who supported Singh and Vanlandingham in the primary would break toward Khanna in the general, a poll in May found 19 percent of GOP voters favored Honda while 18 percent favored Khanna. Though only 19 percent of the district’s voters are Republican (while 44 percent are Democrats and 32 percent declare no party preference), the GOP voters could be a crucial bloc if either campaign can woo it. Former San Jose Assemblyman Jim Cunneen, the last Republican to represent Silicon Valley in Sacramento and Honda’s 2000 House election rival, has urged his party brethren to support Honda; former Rep. Ernie Konnyu, a Republican who represented the area from 1987 to 1989, is trying to rally support for Khanna.

Khanna once dominated this race’s fundraising. He broke records by raising $1.2 million in the last quarter of 2011, back when people thought he would run to succeed Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, in the 15th Congressional District. But Stark decided not to retire and Khanna refused to challenge him in 2012; Stark was then unseated by Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton.

After Khanna turned his attention to the 17th Congressional District and announced his candidacy in April 2013, he outstripped Honda in fundraising in each of 2013’s quarters; by last year’s end, he had $1.97 million in the bank to Honda’s $622,000. But Honda outraised Khanna in this year’s first quarter, and now again in the second.

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.

  • Guest

    More than half of the voters in the 17th district wanted Mike Honda voted out. They want change, that’s clear. The economy is still a mess, wealth is now flowing to the top only, for the most part. Polls are showing most voters believe this so-called recovery is a joke, You still have record numbers of food stamp recipients, lowest work participation levels ever, 2/3rds of jobs being created part time and poorly paying (see former labor Sec. Reich). Middle class still under assault, 24/7.
    Congress, in my view, is to blame . Members like Mike Honda have no vision – no understanding of new job creation strategies, zero knowledge of trade policies, no vision where we need to go from economic standpoint. This Congress is all fluff and double-talk, and Honda is one of the top tier gas-bags.
    Most members of Congress today are lazy, spend much of their time engaging in partisan fighting, or going on junkets -paid for special interest groups( the same special interest groups that are funding Mike Honda’s re-election effort). Honda, in my view, a poster child for the do-nothing-know-nothing modern Congress. He’s got no ideas, he doesn’t like to work much, he spends a few hours a week -when he isn’t on sight- seeing junkets -fighting with Republicans. The rest of the time he goofs off.
    I think when dust settles in this race Honda get’s ousted. Khanna hasn’t taken off kid gloves yet, in coming weeks I expect Khanna will be highlighting Honda’s anemic legislative record along with Honda’s casual snail-like approach to his job (serial junket taking, no town-hall meetings, no debates, hiding from voters)
    The next generation of House members have to be hard workers- the problem are just so massive – these problems won’t get solved with junket takers like Honda. This Eric Swalwell in the 15th is an incredibly hard worker, Ro Khanna will be a worker too, should voters elect him in the 17th. Time to get rid of the snails like Pete Stark and Mike Honda, and put the hard workers in change, I think.

  • Glad to see the Ro Khanna apologists weren’t depressed by voters’ overwhelming embrace of Mike Honda in June.

  • Richard Woulfe

    Voter turn-out in primary was so low the primary results mean nothing, disgust with incumbents like Mike Honda has reach such a crescendo voters now refusing to bother to vote at all. In the general though turnout will be much higher, voters will have chance to express total disgust in this do-nothing Congress by ousting this underperformer Honda,who has accomplished zip in his 14 years years in Congress. Honda likes perks and benefits of being Congressman, but not the work. Only hard work will overcome these massive problems in US -such as complete collapse of middle class. This young college professor -Ro Khanna has vision, his work ethic is unbelievable. You put this young go-getter in Congress you get results. Keep Honda you get more of the same. I myself-don’t care that much ideology, to me – being an effective Congressman is all about work. I think Ro Khanna – if elected -will outwork everybody in Congress, that’s the key.Put this kid in Congress he makes splash, he will shakes things up, fight for middle class! The great Congressman in past – Phil Burton or George Miller -were great because of how hard they worked. Forget about politics or ideology, they were great because of how hard they worked. The 17th district deserves a Congressman who is up at 6am running over people to get stuff for constituents. Ro Khanna will do this, the sleepy Honda will just takes junkets and goof off.


    Something to consider here is that Ro Khanna biggest expenditure has building a field organization on the Obama model which has engaged many people that haven’t been involved before from high school students to seniors. Money may not be a factor at this point as it depends what the candidates have on the ground today.

  • AlexiasLazar

    …and where was that ‘field organization’ on primary day?

  • AlexiasLazar

    The primary numbers are very telling, I have a couple degrees in this subject.

  • Elwood

    Hang in there Ro’s staff! Don’t be discouraged by your ridiculous defeat in the primary.

    Go, Ro, Go!

  • Marga

    I think the results of the primary election were sobering for all of us. I wrote about them, but what I basically got from them is that a low interest election = a low information election, despite the best efforts of its participants. And in a low information election, conventional wisdom wins.

    But while this has proven a hard pill for Ro so far, conventional wisdom would not have Republicans voting for Honda instead of the more moderate-looking Khanna. Regardless of registration numbers, about 26% of the electorate voted against Honda in 2012. There is no reason to believe that they will now turn pro-Honda. And Honda was under 50% in the June election. Unless there is a surge of Democratic voters, I think the issue will really be whether Khanna can keep Democratic voters it already got in line, in the face of Honda’s attacks which started nasty and will only turn nastier. That’s where the question of how good his ground organization is/was comes into play.

    As for the poll, I think the election numbers show that it can’t be relied on at all, so I’m not sure why would even bother citing it.

  • Elwood

    Hang in there, Marga!

    Even a clock that’s stopped is right twice a day!

  • Marga

    Yeah, and I guess I got the fact that a Republican would advance in CD15 right, so I’m due to be right again 🙂