CONGRESS | Rep. Mike Honda continues to bolster a defense against potential challenger Ro Khanna with the release favorable polling numbers a year and a half before primaries and months before challengers will likely officially announce their candidacy. Honda’s internal polling shows Honda with a 52-point lead over Khanna.
The hi-tech industry will be a focal point for the potential face off between Khanna and Honda considering the district’s location is in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Khanna has built a reputation on hi-tech manufacturing advocacy in the past when he spent time in the U.S. Commerce Department for the Obama administration, along with a recent book on helping to bring economic prosperity to America through hi-tech manufacturing.
Khanna raised $1.2 million last year, with the help of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, when he considered a run for Congress but Honda told San Francisco Chronicle recently that he helped Khanna raise this money. Considering this face-off over whose best to represent the district of hi-tech manufacturing Honda released numbers for the tech industry with 56 percent supporting Honda while only 6 percent for Khanna.
Honda’s polling numbers indicate that he has strong support among various racial groups. Honda’s poll indicates that he has support of 68 percent of East/Southeast Asians, 59 percent of South Asians, 63 percent of Latinos and 49 percent of Caucasians. The poll says Khanna “only receives,” 3 percent from East/Southeast Asians, 14 percent from South Asians, 4 percent from Latinos and 6 percent from Caucasians.
The poll also states that Honda holds 54 percent over Khanna after candidates were given positive and negative messaging on all candidates. Honda’s poll says Khanna’s support “remains weak at 10 percent of the vote.” Honda’s poll focused mainly on his biggest potential challenger, Khanna, but did address former Republican and Fremont native challenger, Evelyn Li, as well. Based on negative and positive messaging analysis, Li is higher than Khanna topping off at 17 percent.
Honda’s press release on the statistics states that Khanna would have to unleash a “massive expenditure,” to gain enough name recognition to overcome Honda. Further, Honda states that 76 percent of his constituents have a favorable view of President Barack Obama and gives opportunity for Honda to “expand his strong base support,” considering his recent endorsement from the President.
Honda’s been showing an aggressive early campaign to dissuade challengers in recent months by already acquiring other early endorsements from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House and Caucus Leadership Chair Steve Israel, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean. Furthermore, just a few weeks ago Honda had already announced his campaign team for 2014.
Khanna hasn’t announced his candidacy yet but he did consider a run in the 15th Congressional District against Pete Stark and Eric Swalwell. Khanna since then told The Citizen that potential Swalwell challenger, State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, offered a compromise to Khanna to give him a shot at Honda while she challenged Swalwell. Since then Honda rumors have circulated that Honda may fear a defeat at the hands of a young challenger like Khanna because of Swalwell’s win over Stark.