Federal Election Commission Reports filed on Tuesday reveal that incumbent Mike Honda has outraised his fellow Democratic rival Ro Khanna in this year’s second quarter. Honda now has more cash on hand with which to proceed to the heated November general election in the Silicon Valley’s 17th congressional district.
Honda, who outraised Khanna in both the first and now second quarters, was left with approximately $1.06 million at mid-year after raising more than $522,000 and spending close to $543,000 between April 1 and June 30, according to the San Jose Mercury News. He has not yet spent any campaign funds on television ads, although Khanna has. Khanna, on the other hand, spent $1.5 million and raised about $338,000 during that same period, leaving him with $629,000 at the June 30 mark.
Khanna, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Obama administration, has won the support of heavy-hitting Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google’s Eric Schmidt and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Honda, a seven-term congressman has a loyal backing of constituents and has been relying heavily on his incumbent status to secure November’s election.
Honda finished the June 3 primary with 48% while Khanna brought in approximately 28%.
Still, Khanna should not be counted out for a win, says San Jose State University professor and political expert Larry Gerston. “He is persistent, he will do well in the debate or debates that they have, and he has a following of true believers,” Gerston said according to the Mercury News. He pointed out however that “the challenge grows greater as the time grows shorter.”
Gerston also noted that it will take “glaring deficiencies…to prove that there’s something palpably wrong with [Honda].” He continued, “People will say lots of things about Mike Honda, but very few people point to glaring deficiencies.”
According to Honda’s campaign manager Doug Greven, Khanna has little chance to unseat the incumbent. “Ro Khanna had such trouble gaining traction with the voters that he felt the need to squander more than $3.3 million just to lose the primary,” Greven said. “If he couldn’t lose by less than 20 points while he was outspending us three-to-one, what hope does Khanna have now that his debt-ridden campaign is on life support?”
However, the sentiment on Khanna’s side differs vastly, as his campaign manager Leah Cowan points to two numbers which she says matter most in the current stage of the race. They are the numbers 50 and 202, notes the Mercury News.
Cowan says those numbers are crucial indicators “because a majority of Ro’s donations were under $50, while Rep. Honda doubled down on his 202 area code fundraising amongst Washington special interests.” Although Honda beat Khanna by 20 percentage points, Cowan points out that he still lost “a majority of the vote” and says that “It’s become clearer than ever that voters will be supporting change in November, just as they did in the primary.”