Honda leads Khanna by 45 percent to 26 percent in the all-party race, with Republican Vanila Singh leading Khanna with 29 percent support, according to the automated survey by Public Policy Polling. The poll was conducted for the liberal group Democracy for America, an organization founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) that is backing Honda in the race.
The top two vote-getters in California's all-party "jungle primary" advance to the general election. The San Jose-area district is heavily Democratic — President Obama took 72 percent there in 2012 — but the quarter of the population that are Republican may hold outsized sway in determining this race's winner.
The poll indicates that Khanna may have trouble finishing in second place in the June primary — but that Honda isn't a lock for victory in the November general election if Khanna is his opponent.
Honda leads Khanna in a head-to-head matchup by 61 percent to 39 percent. But the longtime congressman's lead may be due to his much higher name recognition, and Khanna hasn't yet flexed his fundraising muscle to raise his name identification in the district. Khanna had nearly $2 million in the bank as of the end of the year, much more than Honda's $620,000.
Democracy for America argues the poll bodes well for Honda, who led Khanna in an August poll for the group by 49 percent to 15 percent.
"Mike Honda has earned the support of Silicon Valley voters and he continues to have their support today, no matter how many max out contributions millionaire and billionaire CEOs and Executives pour into Vanila Singh and Ro Khanna's campaigns," said Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain.
Partisan polling should always be viewed with some skepticism, and it's unusual to see a poll where all voters are decided this early — PPP didn't include any undecided voters in its numbers.
The automated poll of 270 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 13-16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percent, while the head-to-head matchup between Honda and Khanna had a sample of 505 registered voters and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent. A DFA spokesman said the group split the sample to test the candidates with their party affiliations (the numbers presented) as well as without them, a ballot test that found Honda with a larger lead.