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Poll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district

Poll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district

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. 

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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 ClintonO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Claiming 'spousal privilege' to stonewall Congress MORE by eight points in 2016, but reelected Republican Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceWith the NFIP underwater, expand private sector’s role GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage MORE (Calif.) by 14 points that same cycle. It voted for Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: Support growing for Utah's Medicaid expansion ballot measure Arizona Dems hope higher Latino turnout will help turn the state blue Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure MORE in 2012 by four points.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council 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.