A new set of polls by the University of California Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies shows Republicans in trouble in seven key congressional districts in California — and Democrats running competitively in an eighth district as well.
The poll, conducted for the Los Angeles Times, focused on seven districts currently represented by Republicans where Hillary Clinton won the presidential vote in 2016. Democrats have identified these seven districts as crucial to their effort to win back a majority in the House of Representatives — and, most likely, to re-install House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as speaker.
In addition, an eighth district — the 50th — has become competitive because the incumbent Republican, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), has been indicted on federal charges of misusing campaign funds. (Hunter protests his innocence.)
Democrats lead outright in two of the eight districts, hold leads within the 4-6% margin to error in three others, and are tied in one. Republicans only lead in one district — the 50th — within the margin of error.
CA-10: Democrat Josh Harder is slightly ahead of incumbent Republican Jeff Denham 50%-45%, within the margin of error.
CA-25: Democrat Katie Hill is slightly ahead of incumbent Republican Steve Knight, 50%-45%, within the margin of error.
CA-39: Democrat Gil Cisneros is slightly ahead of Republican Young Kim, 49%-48%, within the margin of error.
CA-45: Democrat Katie Porter leads incumbent Republican Mimi Walters, 52%-45%.
CA-48: Republican incumbent Dan Rohrabacher and Democrat Harley Rouda are tied, 48%-48%, within the margin of error.
CA-49: Democrat Mike Levin leads Republican Diane Harkey, 55%-41%.
CA-50: Republican incumbent Duncan Hunter Kr. leads Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, 49%-47%, within the margin of error. Campa-Najjar touted another poll Thursday which had him less than one point behind, within the margin of error.
The polls are somewhat more positive for Democrats than other recent polls. For example, other recent polls have shown Hunter with a significant lead over his opponent. However, they underline the challenge Republicans face as Democrats begin spending heavily in these districts just days before early voting is due to begin across the state (often by mail ballot).
Notably, the poll was conducted Sept. 16 to 23 — before the Brett Kavanaugh hearing that has energized Republican voters.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.