Dueling polls in CA-17 show six-point spreads for each candidate

Rep. Mike Honda, right, with a supporter earlier
this year in San Jose.

The battle of the internal polls is on in the 17th Congressional District. Rep. Mike Honda’s campaign Monday says its own polling shows the incumbent leading Ro Khanna by six percentage points.

Nearly two weeks ago, Khanna’s campaign trumpeted its own six–point advantage.

Honda’s polling of 500 likely general election voters has a similar +/-4.4 percent margin of error, but instead, finds him leading Khanna, 41-35.

Twenty-three percent of respondents survey by Lake Research Partners were undecided, according to the poll conducted July 17-21.

More important, for Honda, the polling shows his favorability among voters stands at 52 percent, with 29 percent viewing him unfavorable. Khanna’s split was 40/19, but an additional 40 percent of those surveyed had no opinion or had never heard of him.

Khanna beat Honda by 1.7 percent during the June primary. They will face-off for a second straight election year rematch this November.

Honda’s campaign manager said the polling shows Khanna’s “negative attacks” are not working. They also reiterated an attack employed last week that linked Khanna to Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder and Donald Trump supporter who spoke at the Republican National Convention. Thiel has given $7,800 in the past to Khanna’s campaign.

“Ro Khanna’s support of tax breaks for big corporations and other failed Republican economic policies, his financial backing from Wall Street, and support from right-wing conservatives are out of step with the district’s values,” Michael Beckendorf, Honda’s campaign manager. “With Democratic voters turning out in November, Khanna will have some very uncomfortable questions to answer.”

However, on the heels of Khanna’s Primary Election upset, the wind is still clearly with his campaign. Hari Sevugan, spokesperson for Khanna’s campaign said Honda is merely attempting to create a positive narrative to entice donors.

“We understand that Mike Honda needs to give his special interest donors something to have them continue to fund his campaign, especially after PACs funded over 30% of his fundraising last quarter,” said Sevugan.

“But as we’ve seen in the past, Mike Honda’s polls are worth as much as the paper his office’s ethics guidelines are printed on. The history, math and dynamics of intra-party general elections have proven Mike Honda has no path to victory this fall. He can whistle past the graveyard if he wants, but his supporters should know he’s whistling a funeral dirge.”

Categories: CA17, congress, June primary, Mike Honda, Peter Thiel, polling, Republicans, Ro Khanna

4 replies

  1. These zingers at the end read like an old dude trying (and failing) to be funny


  2. hahaha. Here we go again.

    I feel like I'm in a time warp back to Oct 2014. I seem to recall the Khanna campaign released poll results then that showed the race was dramatically tightening (2 points or so). Honda then quickly released his own poll that completely tried to contradict that (+14% then). KPIX then did a poll that completely corroborated Khanna's polling (within a point or two, I recall). The general election results a few weeks later mirrored Khanna's and KPIX's polls – NOT Honda's. In fact, Honda was heard telling folks in the weekend leading up to Nov 2014 election day that he'd win by 20 points. Surprise!!!

    Today I called a friend who's a political consultant and asked about Honda's pollster's reputation. Honda uses Lake Research, that has a very mixed background. They are famous for giving their clients numbers of what they want to hear. They do push polls. They manipulate the sample size and pool to get the results they want. The only way to prove if a poll is legit or not is to have the campaign release the questionnaire, results and crosstabs to the media if asked. That is protocol.

    The Honda camp never released any of these details in their Oct 2014 poll, so most reporters took that as a proof of likely manipulation of the numbers and desperation.

    I'm assuming since no reporters have yet to cover this Honda poll release story that the Honda camp hasn't or refuses to release their data in full detail as well. Given how the Honda camp tried to manipulate the press with their bogus Oct 2014 poll, I seriously doubt any of the press covering this race will allow themselves to be manipulated a second time.

    Frankly, I'm appalled that Honda would use false data to manipulate his supporters. But I guess a flawed candidate who is under an extremely serious ethics investigation doesn't care about integrity of numbers or facts when he's fighting for his political life. I guess Honda supporters will learn in November how the Romney people must have felt on Election Night 2012 when they all thought Mitt would win (based on poll numbers the Romney camp were selectively sharing with them). Personally, I think it's bad form to lie to anyone, especially to supporters and donors just to keep your campaign afloat.


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