The twisted and highly contentious battle between incumbent Rep. Mike Honda and his opponent Ro Khanna for control over California’s 17th congressional district has entered the final day before the midterm election.
Both men have gotten down and dirty in their attacks on each other, with Honda receiving help from more traditional Democratic players, such as unions, including an endorsement from President Barack Obama. Ro Khanna, a former Obama commerce staffer, got the backing of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (vying for reelection against Republican Ron Nehring) and some of Silicon Valley’s leading figures.
The fighting is as intense as if it were a Republican vs. Democrat scenario. However, in this situation, the lack of integrity oft embodied in a moral high ground has left much to be desired, according to many reports in the media and political analysts who have been following the race.
“There are so many flaws to find in the way each has presented himself, you could write a book. It’s been a fairly disappointing contest all around,” said Larry Gerston, a San Jose State University political science professor, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “Both sides have taken a holier-than-thou attitude and been incredibly disingenuous about the other.”
The gap between the two men has slimmed down tremendously over the last six months. Honda finished in the June primary with 48%, while Khanna came in second, 20% behind. Currently, both men are reportedly tied at the polls.
Both men have provided their final push. On Thursday, Honda’s campaign announced it would be calling voters with a recorded pitch from Michelle Obama, notes the Mercury News:
In an election this close, your vote is more important than ever before. We can’t risk having more out-of-touch folks coming to Congress, just because a handful of Democratic voters stayed home. Your vote for Mike Honda will make a real difference in supporting our President.
Khanna has been pounding the pavement. He has knocked on more than 6,600 doors, attended over 200 meet-and-greets throughout the campaign, and engaged in phone banking.
In the end, the man who takes the reins on Tuesday will be representing the Golden State’s hi-tech hub in two vastly different ways. A renewed Honda leadership would likely result in a continuation of a far-left Democratic ideology with higher taxes on businesses, which could push more commerce out of the state–perhaps even into Texas. A Khanna victory would present a congressman who is socially left but is fiscally slightly more right-of-center regarding the handling of technology in California’s burgeoning Silicon Valley.