Campaign

Internal poll shows tight race in California House district Democrats flipped in 2018

An internal poll is showing a tight race in California's 39th Congressional District, which was one of several Democrats flipped in 2018 to win the House majority.

A poll conducted for Young Kim, a former California Assembly member and the Republican running in the district, shows her trailing Rep. Gil Cisneros (D) 45-47 among likely voters, a difference that falls within the poll's margin of error. Another 8 percent of likely voters remain undecided. 

Republicans are eager to retake the Orange County district and several other suburban seats like after losing it in 2018. Kim narrowly lost to Cisneros that year by about 3 points when it was an open seat.

Kim got a boost in the second quarter of the year, raising over $1.2 million compared with Cisneros's $668,197. Cisneros still boasted a bigger war chest of about $1.67 million, while Kim finished June with $1.56 million cash on- hand. 

Kim's campaign said it is looking to go on offense against Cisneros now that he has a House record.

"Gil Cisneros promised to be an independent voice for this district but he breaks that promise each and every day. Cisneros has shown no leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead marching in lockstep with his party, regularly breaking his promises to voters, and his record clearly shows he is nothing but a hyper partisan voice in Washington, DC. This poll clearly shows voters in the 39th district are fed up," said Sam Oh, a general consultant for Kim's campaign.

Still, Kim will face an uphill battle in unseating Cisneros, who has the full backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and is on its Frontline Program. Seats in places like the suburban 39th Congressional District have tilted further away from Republicans since 2016, and President Trump lost the district by about 9 points that year.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as "likely Democratic."

The internal poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, surveyed 400 likely voters in the district from July 27-30 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.

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