Race for Issa Seat: 27% Undecided, No Candidate Above 18%

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law oversight hearing on "Competition in the Video and Broadband Markets: Proposed Merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable", on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Undecideds lead the pack in a new San Diego Union-Tribune/10News poll that reveals that of twelve people vying to replace retiring California congressman Darrell Issa (R) in the House of Representatives, not one garnered more than 18 percent support.

Twenty-seven percent, the significant majority, of 510 respondents have yet to decide whom to support in the at least 12-candidate race to replace outgoing Rep. Issa. The significant number of undecideds comes with less than four months until California’s June primary election.

California’s top-two primary system means that it’s a free-for-all in the primary election, where candidates of all parties compete against one another to finish first or second and move on to a head-to-head race in the general election.

In the new poll, returning Democratic candidate Doug Applegate pulled in just 18 percent of the support, but with such a crowded field, that constituted the highest percentage of support. Applegate ran against Issa in 2016 and lost by a less than one percent margin.

Next was California Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R) with 17 percent, followed by Board of Equalization Chairman and former Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R) with 10 percent, and Democrat lawyer Mike Levin at eight percent.

Trailing in the poll were San Diego Supervisor Kristin Gaspar (R), with seven percent; and Sara Jacobs (D), the granddaughter of billionaire Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, at five percent. Coming in with just two percent were Republicans San Juan Capistrano city councilman Brian Maryott and local patent attorney Joshua Schoonover. Schoonover previously attempted to challenge incumbent Republican congressman Duncan Hunter for his seat.

Two Democrats pulled in one percent each: businessman and Navy veteran Paul Kerr, and lawyer and former Air Force officer Christina Prejean.

While five current candidates are Democrat and five are Republican, the other two represent minor parties. Jordan Mills of the Peace and Freedom Party won one percent support in this poll, while Libertarian Joshua Hancock came in at less than one percent.

Full details of the poll did not appear to be released in the U-T report on it.

Several of the candidates vying for the seat previously served in the military. The district includes Marines Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana