Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) was supposed to be safe in the November election. After all, she won re-election by 17 points in 2016 in a district Hillary Clinton carried by five points.
But in a new poll, Walters only leads by one point against Democratic candidate Katie Porter, a professor at UC Irvine seeking to unseat Walters.
Walters leads Porter 45 percent to 44 percent in the poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group (GSG).
“One thing is clear: If Porter has the resources to communicate, Mimi Walters will be in serious jeopardy in November,” GSG’s analysis reads.
Republicans hold a 14-point registration advantage over Democrats in California’s 45th Congressional District, which Walters represents. Yet it’s clear that voters there are unhappy with the status quo in Washington, D.C.
Only 38 percent of likely voters in the district have a favorable impression of Walters, according to the new poll — which is one point worse than Trump.
Further, most voters in the 45th District said they prefer a Democrat who will “be a check on Trump,” (55 percent) over a Republican who will “help Trump pass his agenda,” (40 percent).
That’s bad news for Walters, who is one of Trump’s most loyal champions in Congress. She has voted to rubber-stamp the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time.
One of the major issues Walters sided with Trump on was the repeal of the popular Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Walters voted to destroy the popular health care law, replacing it with a Republican bill which would have ruined health coverage for millions of Americans.
The Republican bill would have caused 23 million people to lose access to affordable health insurance, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO also predicted that health care premiums would have increased as a result of the bill.
What’s more, Walters also voted to take away crucial protections for individuals with pre-existing health conditions. If her preferred bill had become law, cancer survivors, people suffering from depression, and even women who have ever been pregnant could have been charged thousands more for health insurance.
The bill also would have devastated the fight against the opioid crisis. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned that even people with insurance “could face thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs for [addiction] treatment, putting it out of reach for many.”
Luckily for millions of families, the Walters-backed bill did not pass the Senate and did not become law.
This new poll supports a growing consensus from national election experts that this could be a very close race — and that Mimi Walters could be in serious trouble this November.