Democratic challenger takes lead over Trump loyalist Rep. Mimi Walters

Katie Porter

A poll of likely voters shows Democratic candidate Katie Porter with a 49-46 lead over Republican congresswoman Mimi Walters.

Embattled Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is slipping behind in the latest poll of voters in California’s 45th Congressional District.

In a survey of likely voters, Tulchin Research found Democratic candidate Katie Porter leading Walters by a 49-46 margin.

“In an even more positive development for Porter and Democrats, voters are mostly solidified in their corners as only five percent are undecided leaving very little room for Walters to make up the gap,” wrote the pollsters.

Walters has long been a top target for Democrats in their quest to regain control of the House of Representatives. Walters is one of several California Republicans representing a district that backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

National polls show voters are eager for a member of Congress who acts as a check to Trump, and decidedly against a member who rubber-stamps the Trump agenda.

Despite representing a swing district, Walters is one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, voting to advance the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time. In late August, Walters claimed, without evidence, that voters in the district think Trump is “exceeding their expectations.”

This latest poll shows Walters wildly out of touch with the constituents she claims to represent, as 54 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of Trump.

Despite the antipathy of her constituents towards Trump, Walters is a reliable yes-woman for Trump in Congress. Walters championed the Trump-backed effort to gut the popular Affordable Care Act. In the process, Walters supported efforts to strip away protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, exposing millions of families to potentially thousands of dollars in higher health care costs.

When Trump clamored for a tax bill, Walters was on the front lines to do his bidding, even if her efforts harmed the very people she was elected to represent. In the end, the tax bill represented a tax hike for Californians, as even other California Republicans acknowledged.

Homeowners in Orange County could see a tax hike of up to $4,500 this year alone. In total, about a million Californians will owe about $12 billion in higher taxes, thanks to the efforts of Trump and Walters.

The Tulchin poll is the fourth poll released regarding this race, according to FiveThirtyEight, and three polls show Porter with a lead. Two of the polls were taken after the June primary: One shows Walters with a one-point lead, and this latest one gives Porter a three-point advantage.

The Tulchin poll surveyed 500 likely voters from August 10-14 and was commissioned by the DCCC. The poll has a margin of error of 4.38 percentage points.

Most election experts rate the race a “toss up,” and after this poll FiveThirtyEight gives a slight edge to Porter to win in November.