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Ex-GOP Rep. David Valadao up 11 points over Democrat TJ Cox in California House race: poll

Ex-GOP Rep. David Valadao up 11 points over Democrat TJ Cox in California House race: poll
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoEx-GOP Rep. David Valadao up 11 points over Democrat TJ Cox in California House race: poll Republicans uncomfortably playing defense House Democrats target Midwestern GOP seats MORE (R-Calif.) is leading Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) by 11 points in a new internal poll from the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), the top super PAC backing Republican House candidates.

The poll from CLF, released exclusively to The Hill, shows Valadao leading with 49 percent support among likely voters in California’s 21st District, compared with 38 percent for Cox. Another 9 percent remain undecided.

Both candidates have net-positive approval ratings. Forty-eight percent of likely voters say they have a favorable view of Valadao, who held the district for three terms, while 29 have an unfavorable view. Meanwhile, 41 percent view Cox favorably, compared with 38 percent who said they had an unfavorable view of him. 

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The California race is a rematch from 2018, when Cox unseated Valadao by under 1 point and flipped the Fresno-area seat. 

Polling for the seat is scarce, though Democrats remain hopeful that Cox be able to maintain momentum from his 2018 win.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as a “toss up.”

California is set to be a top House battleground this cycle, hosting several competitive races for the lower chamber. The GOP is particularly eager to make up ground in the Golden State after ceding seven Republican-held districts to Democrats in the 2018 midterm cycle, one of which they took back in a special election in March. 

The CLF poll, conducted by American Viewpoint, surveyed 400 likely voters from Sept. 8-10 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.