Honda-Khanna Race is a Dead Heat, Or, Wait, Honda is Up 15 Points

Rep. Mike Honda, left, says internal polling shows him leading Ro Khanna by 15 points; Khanna, however, says his survey reveals a dead heat in the 17th Congressional District.

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | East Bay political junkies woke up Monday with news that Ro Khanna’s campaign was suddenly in a dead heat with a just few weeks left in his race to unseat Rep. Mike Honda. Polling of 400 likely voters in the South Bay district that includes Fremont revealed both Democrats deadlocked at 38 percent.

Nearly a quarter of the electorate, according to the poll, however, is still undecided with just three weeks before Election Day. The polling’s margin of error, though, is a relatively high 4.9 percent. Nevertheless, the results would be a significant change from the 20-point primary victory Honda posted against Khanna and two Republicans in June.

“These numbers are a clear sign that the more voters hear Ro’s vision for strengthening our economy, fostering innovation, and ensuring our children are prepared for the jobs of the future, the more likely they are to vote for new leadership this November,” said Leah Cowan, Khanna’s campaign manager, in a statement. “But we’re not taking anything for granted.

But, hold on.

By early Monday afternoon, Honda’s campaign released its own internal polling data showing a 15-point advantage for the incumbent over Khanna. Honda’s survey of 500 likely voters from Oct. 7 to Oct. 12 showed Honda leading the race with 42 percent to Khanna’s 27 percent. In this poll, 31 percent of respondents said they were undecided. The poll has a 4.4 percent margin of error.

“This latest poll shows that Congressman Honda is the overwhelming choice of voters in the 17th Congressional District. Ro Khanna’s campaign is clearly getting desperate, which is reflected in the barrage of attack mailers funded by Khanna’s Republican donors distorting Congressman Honda’s record of delivering for his district,” said Honda’s Campaign Manager Doug Greven.

Following a much-anticipated televised debate last week in San Jose that received little consensus over a clear winner, the last three weeks of the campaign will likely become highly contentious.