Poll Shows Honda with Small Lead Over Khanna; New TV Ad Slams Khanna

Supporters of Rep. Mike Honda listen to their candidate at a candidates forum during the June primary season in Fremont. Polling shows the race in the 17th District has significantly tightened up. PHOTO/Steven Tavares

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Rep. Mike Honda has a slim two-point lead over Ro Khanna, according to a KPIX/Survey USA poll released Monday. With just two weeks before Election Day, the survey is the first independent snapshot of the race this fall between two Democrats in the South Bay’s 17th Congressional District.

The poll of 579 likely voters from Oct. 16-19, showed Honda with 37 percent of the vote, followed by Khanna with 35 percent. More than a quarter of respondents—28 percent–however, remain undecided. The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.2 percent.

Khanna’s campaign released a poll Oct. 13 that yielded similar results with the race tied at 38 percent. Later, Honda’s team offered internal polling that pegged a much larger spread to the race with Honda up by 15 points—42-27.

Nonetheless, the efficacy of Monday’s KPIX/Survey USA should buoy Khanna’s efforts to unseat the seven-time congressman next month. Polling done by the same firm two weeks before the June primary proved quite accurate. It showed Honda leading Khanna by 19 points in late May. The final result was a 20-point win for Honda.

In addition, inside the numbers of this latest poll show the race falling toward bipartisan lines even though both candidates are Democrats. According to the poll, Democrats in general favor Honda, including progressives and moderate. Republicans support Khanna, including independents and conservatives.

Last week, Khanna sent voters a mailer that irked some Democratic officials for highlighting Honda’s record as being too liberal for the district’s taste. On Monday, Honda’s campaign released a new television commercial that attempts to link Khanna to Republicans and, specifically, big-money outside interests.