The Republican in a hotly contested House swing district in California is ahead by 10 points over his Democratic opponent, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.
Republican candidate Young Kim, who formerly served in the California State Assembly, is leading Democrat Gil Cisneros among likely voters in California’s 39th Congressional District 51 percent to 41 percent in the poll.
The district is one of the most ethnically diverse in the country, and the support for each candidate is sharply divided along racial lines. Cisneros holds a 54-29 percent advantage with Hispanic voters polled and a slim 43-41 advantage among Asian voters. However, Kim has a 58-36 advantage among non-Hispanic white voters in the sample.
Both candidates suffer from relatively low name recognition, but voters appear to have warmed more to Kim than Cisneros. Kim has a 32-11 favorable to unfavorable rating, while Cisneros is underwater at 23 percent favorable, 24 percent unfavorable.
About 45 percent of those surveyed say Kim is in touch with residents of the district, while 36 percent say the same about Cisneros, who moved to the district last year after winning the lottery.
Kim beat Cisneros by 2.6 points in California’s top-two primary in June. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss up.”
The district went for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE by eight points in 2016, but reelected Republican Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceBottom line Bottom line California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success MORE (Calif.) by 14 points that same cycle. It voted for Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE in 2012 by four points.
President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE is breaking even in the district in approval with 47 percent of voters polled approving of his job performance and 47 percent disapproving. Trump has not endorsed Kim, who has taken stances at odds with the Trump administration's policies.
She has expressed support for legal immigration while also calling for protections for children brought to the U.S. illegally.
Democrats have their sights set on flipping the district, currently held by Royce, who is retiring at the end of his term. Royce has endorsed Kim.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added the district to its Red to Blue program, which opens up organizational and fundraising support for Democratic candidates in target districts.
Former President Obama held a campaign rally in California earlier this month for Cisneros and other Democratic candidates.
Monmouth University surveyed 402 voters in the district from Sept. 13-16. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points for all voters and 5.7 percentage points for likely voters.