Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) faces an uphill battle in November as he sits in a district that “Leans Democrat,” according to a new analysis from Politico.
Politico used “historical trends, the latest polling data, evaluations of both parties’ campaign strategies and extensive reporting” to develop a rating for every single one of the 435 House districts.
Of Republican incumbents running for re-election, Knight is one of only four in the entire nation sitting in a district leaning toward Democratic control. The other three are Reps. Rod Blum (IA), Andy Barr (KY), and Barbara Comstock (VA).
Knight’s district backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped Knight from enthusiastically backing Trump and the Trump agenda. Knight has voted in favor of the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time, including taking unpopular positions on health care and taxes.
Knight voted to gut the popular Affordable Care Act (ACA), and in the process, tried to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. His votes helped increase health care premiums in California for next year, and his vote on the Republican tax bill helped hike taxes on Californians, too.
In the June primary, Democrat Katie Hill earned the opportunity to take on Knight in November. Hill has consistently raised more campaign cash than Knight, while voter registration in the district also gives Democrats an advantage.
Politico joins election data prognosticators FiveThirtyEight as bullish on Hill’s chances to oust Knight. FiveThirtyEight’s classic forecast model lists the district as “Likely D,” and gives Hill a 75 percent chance of winning as of September 5 (the number changes as new data is entered into the model).
Three other prominent election analysts (Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Daily Kos) list the race as a “Toss Up.” The only major national experts to list the race in Knight’s favor, Inside Elections, gives it the tepid “Tilt R” rating.
Knight is not looking at an easy win this November.