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Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 9/18-9/19. Likely Voters. MoE 3.9% (No Trendlines)

Rep. Dan Lungren (R) 46
Ami Bera (D) 38

Former state Attorney General Dan Lungren has been the representative of this district (which rings around the southern end of Sacramento) since 2005. He has won here three times, but his margin of victory has grown more narrow with each passing election.

In 2010, despite this being a cycle that seems likely to be a GOP-friendly climate, it looks like this race could even be narrower than Lungren's six-point margin of victory over Bill Durston in 2008.

Dr. Ami Bera is one of the better challengers being fielded by the Democrats in this cycle. A physician by trade, he has proven to be an adept campaigner as well as a top-flight fundraiser.

The good news for him in this poll is twofold. For one thing, the enthusiasm gap in California is not nearly as wide as we find it in other states. This district was split evenly in 2008 between Barack Obama and John McCain. Among this sample of likely voters, McCain only enjoys a five-point edge (by way of contrast, our poll in Wisconsin had that gap between 2008 and today at fourteen points). Furthermore, Bera still has a ton of upside--he is still unknown to 60% of the electorate.

Lungren's personal favorabilities, given his status as an incumbent in what must be described as a red-tinted district, are pretty awful. His favorability numbers are upside down at 39/46. One of the biggest groups of voters still undecided in this race are moderate voters, and Lungren's numbers with that demographic group are even worse (28/55).

Lungren is not without saving graces. President Obama's approval numbers are also upside down in the district (44/53). While, in the grand scheme of things, those numbers aren't horrible (Obama has polled worse in states that he easily carried in 2008), they present an additional challenge for Bera.

Furthermore, this is still a pretty conservative district. Both Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman are both doing better here than Lungren is, and could drag him across the finish line. Conversely, Bera is not likely to be helped by having Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown at the top of the ticket.

That said, Ami Bera has ample resources ($1.14 million in the bank as of his most recent FEC filing). He will have plenty of time, and plenty of money, to define both himself and Lungren.

If he is able to do both, this could very easily become one of the relatively few opportunities for Democrats to play some offense in November.

Quite clearly, I am not alone in that assessment, as the nonpartisan ratings service provided by CQ and Roll Call (in an article where they downgraded the prospects for a number of Democrats) also downgraded Lungren's re-election to toss-up status.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:46 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice work here thanks. Like this: (0+ / 0-)

    President Obama's approval numbers are also upside down in the district (44/53). While, in the grand scheme of things, those numbers aren't horrible (Obama has polled worse in states that he easily carried in 2008), they present an additional challenge for Bera.

  •  No Gap w/Prop. 19 !!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, itskevin, optimusprime, SoCaliana

    The vote to legalize the wild weed is going to motivate people in CA, big time.

    "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

    by emobile on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:52:36 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, California... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is near parity in enthusiasm. At the other end of the spectrum is the Midwest, which promises to be a gubernatorial bloodbath for Democrats, with likely seat losses in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa.

  •  There are four House seats Dems are (7+ / 0-)

    expected to win (DE-AL, HI-01, LA-02, and IL-10). It would be great if Dems could get some surprise victories in seats like this(and PA-15, PA-6, FL-25). Even winning just one or two of those races, and it could impact control of the House.

    •  Chamber of Commerce thinks so too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, itskevin, TLS66, jj32

      CNN’s Ed Henry: “Tom Donohue, the powerful president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, … has privately told colleagues in recent weeks he believes Democrats will just barely hold on to the House majority. Two sources familiar with the conversations said Donohue has privately said he's gone over every single key race in the House, and he believes Republicans will lose a few seats … he believes they don't see coming -- because it is more of an anti-establishment election than an anti-Democratic election.

      Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

      by Scarce on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:03:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  8 points is a toss-up? (0+ / 0-)

    Because of the MOE? So this poll could have been reported as 44-40 with the exact same MOE?

    Sen. Reid on GOP threat of filibuster on tax cuts - "by Republican logic, until rich CEOs get what they want, middle-class families can't get what they need."

    by Jonze on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:57:06 AM PDT

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      that it's more of a Lean R than a tossup. But everybody is talking about it, and Lungren is much weaker than he should be, given the year and the district.

      It's a race to definitely keep an eye on.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:58:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Any of those few Lean Republican seats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ..are potential pick-ups. Joe Garcia in FL-25 is another one.

      Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

      by Scarce on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:01:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Didn't Call It A Toss-Up, CQ/Roll Call Did... (6+ / 0-)

      I think the race could easily wind up there, given that Bera is still defining himself and that Lungren starts off as a fairly unpopular incumbent.

      "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
      Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
      Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

      by Steve Singiser on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:08:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kinda yes and kinda no... (0+ / 0-)

      MOE says the real answer has a X percent ( I think they use 95% in these polls ) likelihood of being in the range of estimate +/-MOE, but it's not linear.  The edges of the confidence interval are substantially less likely than the center, but...


      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:09:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, "toss-up" rating NOT based on this poll...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As Steve explained below, he's not calling it a toss-up, CQ did.  And in fact CQ moved the race from lean R to toss-up just a couple days ago, THAT recent.

      The nonpartisan campaign reporters at CQ and National Journal and Cook and Rothenberg and elsewhere all have better information than we do, the campaigns and party people on both sides all share private info with them.  Their ratings are therefore worthy of great respect.

      And, by the way, Tim Sahd at National Journal and Chuck Todd on his MSNBC First Read blog both had this seat among the Top 40 most likely to flip parties.  They both gave us better chance here than in FL-25, which surprised me and still surprises me.  But that tells you something about Bera and his campaign.

      In a time of war, is that really the time to be asking whether we should be at war?...When it is over we should ask whether we should leave. -- Stephen Colbert

      by DCCyclone on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:34:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lungren is a known commodity... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wasn't he formerly state AG? And yet he's polling a good bit under 50 in a Republican-friendly year.

      Those are red flags for him.

  •  Bera had more money than Lungren (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, itskevin, optimusprime, beltane

    LUNGREN, DANIEL E. $1,220,055 $441,978 $802,367 $35,694 06/30/2010

    BERA, AMERISH $1,629,726 $489,644 $1,140,083 $61,045 06/30/2010


    R+6 oddly-shaped district. I don't imagine it'll stay at R+6 after the next redistricting.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:58:38 AM PDT

  •  I had a special kind of antipathy (0+ / 0-)

    for "law-and-order Lundgren" ever since he ran for governor of CA years ago. It would be delicious to
    run him out of town on that political rail.

    Oh, make me wanna holler /And throw up both my hands--Marvin Gaye

    by Wildthumb on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:03:04 AM PDT

    •  then Lungren would find another town to run in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Wildthumb

        It is easy to forget that before he was Attorney General he was a Representative in the House...from Long Beach CA. Long Beach is the second largest city in Los Angeles County, about 400 miles from Sacramento. Maybe he could run in a primary against fellow carpetbagger Tom "Conservative Icon" McClintock in the neighboring CA-04. McClintock was a state legislator from Ventura County (next to L.A. on the SoCal coast) before barely beating "Good Old" Charlie Brown up north in 2008.

         In 2008 Lungren won re-election but with under 50% of the vote. I want to see his sorry ass out of office ASAP. He can take the "Conservative Icon" with him too...

      I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

      by Zack from the SFV on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:30:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  California - Democratic tidal wave (4+ / 0-)


    Prop 19. That's why.

    Sure, some Repugs may support it. But more Democrats and liberals will support it. Youth will support it, the one typical group that doesn't bother to turn out will be showing up in larger numbers. Check out some of the social boards, lots of people are 'fired up and ready to 420'.

    I think Prop 19 is going to make a wave in CA that pollsters ain't picking up on, at all.

  •  Will you guys poll FL-24? (0+ / 0-)

    I hope it isn't inappropriate to ask here. But the DCCC released an internal a couple days ago showing Joe Garcia up 8 points in that race. Since it has been a front-page item for Daily Kos, I am hoping you guys poll it soon, especially with the new information.

    Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

    by Southernlib on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:06:24 AM PDT

  •  Important reminder .. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, beltane, SoCaliana

    California Registration Deadlines

    California Voter Registration

    Deadlines for Upcoming Elections Election Date	
    Your registration must be postmarked no later than: October 18

  •  Don't count on it (2+ / 0-)

    I live in Lundgren's District and it is rigged for the GOP.  The liberal downtown was cut out of the district on purpose.  Sorry to say because I would love to see a win.  Also the GOP is energized and the Dems not so much at least here.  After 30 years living here, none of my friends and neighbors share my political views.  A win is possible because of the immigration of Bay Area people.  People think of CA as liberal, but it is the coast that is Blue.  The central valley is Red except for downtown Sacramento.

    •  Obama won it by a point (4+ / 0-)

      I know the political circumstances are different right now, but the district cannot be THAT unreachable.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:18:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Turn out is everything. (4+ / 0-)

      This is an off year election.

      Talk to people who are likely to vote for Democrats and encourage them to vote.

    •  It WAS rigged past tense, but has changed...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Lungren is suffering a problem that several incumbent CA GOP Reps learned in 2008, that some gerrymandered GOP districts are changing demographically and are less Republican than designed.

      Bera has a real shot.

      In a time of war, is that really the time to be asking whether we should be at war?...When it is over we should ask whether we should leave. -- Stephen Colbert

      by DCCyclone on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:37:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      3rd District here.  You are not alone. :-)

      Yes, it's uphill, but yes, we can do this. I'm phonebanking for Bera tomorrow a.m.

      You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

      by abrauer on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:53:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Focus on Latino Vote (0+ / 0-)

      Lundgren's opposition needs to quietly focus on getting the sizeable Latino vote into the supporter column.  These folks, although present in large numbers, are seldom represented in the media, who want to paint a different pictures of who makes Central California work.  Given them a reason to make them feel as if they have a chance to be represented rather than ignored as Lundgren has done over the years.

      Lundgrens' supporters are largely old and steadily dying of old age, consequently the demographics are shifting.  Hit him hard on his willingness to privatize social security and cut medicare, which will shave his margins in this demographic.  Hang the GOP plan to gut social security and medicare to support tax cuts for billionaires around Lundgren's neck.

      Focus on issues of importance to middle class voters seeking jobs and a climate of support and solutions rather than more republican assaults on what little clout they have left.

      Remind California residents that this is the year that the GOP rigging of the district can be fixed, if they get out and vote for Dems.

  •  Sorry to hijack - but is anyone else getting (0+ / 0-)
    these fucking annoying GOP banners under every new entry on the Kos homepage?

    Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one. ::Goethe::

    by Jeremy10036 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:14:48 AM PDT

  •  If you are part of a social on line network, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, abrauer

    talk up Prop 19 and get young people energized to get out and vote.

  •  Is enthusiasm always what makes people vote? (0+ / 0-)

    Don't some people vote because of anger, or fear or for some other reason? What is a better predictor, being committed to voting or being enthusiastic about it? Young people may be more enthusiastic, but seniors are more likely to really vote on average.

  •  Where were FP stories like this in 2008 (0+ / 0-)
    when Durston was within striking distance of Lungren then?  Kos ignored this district because he didn't think Lungren could be beaten.  But if he had helped Durston with fundraising back then, we might have taken this seat.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:27:22 AM PDT

  •  Not as good as I hoped (0+ / 0-)
    I agree that Bera has time and money and is starting to get his name out.  One can't miss the large Bera signs going up.  But what concerns me is not the gap, but that Lungren is at 46%.  I was hoping for low 40s at best.  46% puts him at too close to 50% for my taste, especially with the MOE.

    Welcome to the Big 10 Nebraska!

    by Gangster Octopus on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:35:09 AM PDT

    •  Time to hang the GOP Plan (0+ / 0-)

      around his neck.  Make him defend the GOP plan to eliminate social security, medicare, funds for water projects, and jobs in the district, being sure ads make a direct tie in to specific jobs that will disappear because Lundgren opposes jobs in order to pay for tax cuts for billionaires.

      Get vicious about it.  The media loves blood, which will help draw eyes to the story.

  •  Bera's the Real Deal (2+ / 0-)

    For those of you not in California's third Congressional district, let me tell you, Bera can do it.  He is extremely charismatic and his campaign team is topnotch.  They started running commercials after Labor Day that hit Lungren where it hurts (pension spiking, which is big news in CA right now).  People here hate Lungren.  Bera connects with people and connects with them well. Lungren has made only paltry attempts to be a "man of the people" these last two years.  Before that, he wouldn't even meet the unwashed masses (as attorney general, he had his own elevator and parking spot (now the employee of the month's spot)).

  •  Bera is hitting Lundgren really hard on TV now (2+ / 0-)

    Lundgren is not a very well-liked guy in California and Bera's ads showing him to be a gold-digger at taxpayers expense could help turn the momentum even more. I've met Dr. Bera - he was at our Yolo County fundraiser on Sunday - smart, personable, lots of local support and recognition (Yolo County Dems did a weekend of precinct walking in CA-03 a few weeks ago). I hope it pays off.

    ... let us begin ... ~ John F. Kennedy

    by tgypsy on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:40:26 AM PDT

  •  Added tag California (0+ / 0-)

    to help people find this...

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

  •  I'm going to ask this in every new PPP/Kos (0+ / 0-)

    poll thread since you don't seem to react to anything.

    Where's the raw data that you guys promised to release when you announced that you hired PPP?

    We'll be announcing our other pollster in a few weeks. They have also agreed to release raw data. We still have to figure out HOW we'll do that, and in what format. There's also a technological challenge in integrating data in different formats from the two pollsters. So we won't have full functionality and raw data access available right away.

    But long term, having access to the raw data will also allow us to do some pretty awesome shit, like creating widgets that allow you guys to insert your own weighing to reshape the numbers to reflect how YOU (or anyone else) thinks the electorate will look like. Access to raw data will also give everyone an unprecedented look at how pollsters massage data and better educate the public as to the art of polling, and its inherent limits.

    You released them for the first two polls, so there are no technical issues. And since then you've stopped doing it. Why?

    Support Dennis McDonald and Montana Democrats in the 2010 election!

    by twohundertseventy on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:12:50 AM PDT

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