California State Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey leads Democrat Mike Levin in a new internal 49th congressional district poll to replace Rep. Darrell Issa.
Harkey garnered 46 percent support compared to Levin’s 43 percent in the new poll out of the Harkey camp according to Roll Call. Public Opinion Strategies conducted the telephone poll of 400 likely voters from July 15-17 and results had a margin of error of 4.9 percent. The 49th congressional district spans portions of San Diego County and Orange County.
A Harkey campaign spokesman told Roll Call that it factored in a “worst case scenario” considering 2016 presidential levels. The polling company used the lowest Republican registration level of 39 percent and highest Democrat registration level at 32 percent.
Harkey and Levin both hail from Orange County where Harkey led Levin 53-42 for the Orange County portion of the congressional district. In the San Diego portion, Harkey led by a tighter 44-43 margin. Harkey also led in name recognition with 60 percent to Levin’s 53.
Harkey and Levin emerged the top two vote-getters from a field of 16 in California’s June primary election. California hosts an open primary that puts all candidates from any party into the same pool and the top two vote-getters irrespective of party move on to the general election. Harkey won 26 percent of the vote in the primary to Levin’s 18 percent. When all votes were counted in that primary, Democrats garnered a combined 50.8 percent of the vote to Republicans’ 47.7 percent. Remaining candidates from several parties took a combined 1.3 percent of the vote.
Levin’s camp previously released their own internal poll conducted June 24-27. Roll Call reported that Levin led in that poll 44-41 over Harkey. The Feldman Group poll had a margin of error of 4.6 percent. That poll also sampled 400 likely voters. The Levin poll found 52 percent of voters looked for a candidate who will “work across party lines on behalf of local interests.” Thirty-six percent of those surveyed were seeking a candidate to “shake up Washington and change Congress.”
In 2016 Rep. Issa held on to his seat by a razor-thin 0.6 percent margin over Democrat Doug Applegate. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid won that district in that election by seven points.