A recent public opinion vote of voters in the 17th Congressional District suggests that the race boils down to two Democrats.
According to the data gathered by Survey USA, incumbent Mike Honda leads challenger Ro Khanna 40 percent to 21 percent. Two other candidates combine for 14 percent, and 24 percent of those polled remain undecided—this with less than two weeks to go.
The poll has something for each of the top two candidates, nearly certain to face off in November.
For incumbent Honda, he has a clear lead over Khanna despite the challenger outspending Honda by more than two-to-one up to this point. Once again, money doesn’t always tell the story in California politics.
For Khanna, he’s managed to make himself known to the voters and appealing enough to be in second place. Given that Khanna had next to no name recognition six months ago, his efforts have him in second place.
Perhaps most intriguing is that one-fourth of the voters remain on the fence. How they decide in the coming 10 days may tell us much about the closeness of the race and whether any of the candidates achieved momentum in the waning moments of the primary election campaign.
But worry not: This is step one of what is sure to become an increasingly bitter race between now and November. For Honda and Khanna, this summer will be anything but relaxing.
Dr. Larry Gerston is a political science professor at San Jose State University. He also serves as a political analyst for NBC Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @lgerston.