According to the a mid-May PPP poll, commissioned by End Citizens United (ECU), voters prefer Democrat Katie Porter to Walters by a 46-43 margin, with 11 percent not sure.
“Most notably, among independent voters, Porter saw strong support with a 21 point advantage over Walters,” according to an ECU statement. Of those who responded to the poll, 36 percent were Democrats, 41 percent were Republicans, and 23 percent were independents.
The head-to-head numbers are almost identical to a March PPP poll, in which Walters trailed both Porter and Democrat Dave Min. (The May PPP poll did not ask about a head-to-head contest between Walters and Min.)
The May PPP poll shows a solid majority of voters in Walters’ district — 54 percent — hold an unfavorable view of Trump. This is identical to the March PPP poll of California’s 45th Congressional District.
The May PPP poll also confirms other polls showing that Trump is unpopular in Orange County. An April poll from Chapman University surveyed all of Orange County, showing Trump’s approval rating to be even lower, at 37 percent. “It’s one more indication we are no longer a red county,” Fred Smoller, a Chapman associate professor and lead researcher for the poll, said at the time.
This new polling, taken together with the other recent polls, shows voters are unhappy with Trump and have serious doubts about sending Walters back to Congress. Because, despite his unpopularity, Walters continues to vote in complete support of Trump’s agenda, supporting the president’s positions a full 99 percent of the time.
Whether on health care policies that will increase premiums or a tax bill that will raise taxes on her own constituents, Trump would be hard pressed to find a more loyal member of Congress than Walters.
And these positions may be hurting Walters’ chances in 2018. The L.A. Times recently moved Walters into the list of the top five most endangered Republican seats in California.
Enthusiasm for Democrats is showing up in more than just polls. Four Democrats running to unseat Walters have raised a combined $3.7 million so far this cycle, far outpacing what Walters has been able to bring in, despite her thousands of dollars from the gun lobby and other unsavory sources.
Walters has been a professional politician for more than two decades, and the excitement from Democrats is more than she has ever seen. “You see an energy and an enthusiasm on the left that I have not seen as a 22-year elected official,” she said earlier this month.
Voters will have their first chance to prove Walters right (or wrong) June 5, the date of the California primary.