Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) has done everything in his power to advance the Trump agenda, and his constituents are noticing. A new poll shows a solid majority of his constituents oppose giving the two-term congressman another term.
In fact, 50 percent of his constituents are “strongly” disinclined to re-elect Knight, which is incredibly high for an incumbent.
Antipathy to Knight’s re-election cuts across a range of demographics. A majority of every single age range — from millennials, to the middle-aged, to senior citizens — replied they are not inclined to re-elect Knight. The same majority holds true for both men and women. The strongest opposition to Knight came from young voters (age 18-29), with 66 percent not inclined to re-elect Knight.
This is also the second poll to show Knight has lower job approval numbers than historically unpopular Donald Trump. Trump’s job approval in Knight’s district is 45 percent, while only 37 approve of Knight’s job in Congress.
(Job approval and whether or not voters were inclined to re-elect Knight were two separate questions. See the full poll here.)
Opposition to Knight is “strongly correlated with [voters] views of President Donald Trump’s performance in office,” according to study author Mark DiCamillo, director at the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at the University of California, Berkeley.
“The situation nationally seems to have a huge impact” on the district race, DiCamillo told McClatchy. “It’s not just local issues that are affecting voters.”
Two specific policy issues were particularly important to voters.
According to the study, “The poll finds that Knight’s Yes votes on the recently enacted tax bill and the unsuccessful attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare health reform law last summer appear to be hinder Knight’s re-election chances among district voters.”
There is strong opposition to Knight’s votes by residents of the 25th Congressional District, located in the northern parts of Los Angeles County.
Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is opposed by 55 percent of likely voters, while the Republican tax bill is opposed by 54 percent. Yet despite the wishes of his constituents, Knight sided with Trump on both these issues.
As a result of policies Knight supported, an estimated 31,600 of his constituents will lose health insurance. Health care premiums will increase by up to 30 percent next year. Working-class Californians will face an additional $2.8 billion in taxes, and the California economy could see trouble.
This poll follows on a report of lackluster fundraising from Knight at the end of 2017. Knight raised less than one of his Democratic opponents, and the combined fundraising of all his Democratic opponents in 2017 far surpassed Knight’s total.
Knight was recently named California’s most vulnerable lawmaker. His incredible unpopularity will likely keep him atop that ranking and keep Democrats energized to replace him in November.