Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos (9/18-19, likely voters, no trend lines):
Ami Bera (D): 38
Dan Lungren (R-inc): 46
Democrats have been lustily eyeing this district, which is anchored in the Sacramento suburbs, since Lungren beat Democrat Bill Durston by under 6% in 2008. That year, Obama managed to beat McCain by half a percentage point – a dramatic turnaround from the 17% Bush win in 2004. Crisitunity examined the factors driving the change in this district (and throughout California) in detail in April of 2009. He found that the bulk of the district’s population growth is coming from minority demographics, which led to a drop in the GOP’s registration advantage from 11% to 2% from 2002 to 2008.
Of course, turnout isn’t likely to be the same beast as it was in 2008 (though there is some evidence to suggest that things won’t be as bad in California), and the top of the ticket isn’t as strong this time around for Bera: Whitman leads Brown by 50-43, while Fiorina leads Boxer by 53-39. Still, Lungren has a net unfavorability rating at 39-46 and only leads Bera by 38-33 among independents – not especially formidable numbers. This is still an interesting race.