Rep. Steve Knight’s re-election chances threatened by close ties to Trump

Rep. Steve Knight's close ties to Donald Trump could spell disaster for him at the polls in November.

Donald Trump can’t find anyone more loyal to his priorities than Palmdale’s Rep. Steve Knight.

Knight, a Republican in a district that Hillary Clinton won by seven points, has sided with Trump in every major legislative battle in Congress. But with Californians increasingly souring on Trump, Knight’s close ties could come back to haunt him come November.

On the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, more than 600,000 women and men marched in the Los Angeles Women’s March with a very focused message: voter registration.

In addition to activism in the streets, evidence from a new analysis by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows that Californians spent 2017 increasingly disapproving of Trump.

While Trump’s approval remained consistent in the low 30s, PPIC notes, “In the course of 2017, disapproval of the president increased as more likely voters formed opinions about his leadership.”

His disapproval shot up from an already high 55 percent to 63 percent.

With nearly two in three Californians disapproving of Trump’s job performance, the fact that Knight continues to shill for his agenda becomes more politically detrimental by the day.

Disapproval for Trump is increasing among virtually every demographic group — young, old, low-income, high-income, men, women, college graduates, Latino, and the list goes on and on.  The numbers, based on PPIC surveys at the beginning of 2017 and the end of 2017, are staggering:

    • 21 points for those younger than 35 (63% to 84%)
    • 15 points among independent (i.e. no party preference) voters (50% to 65%)
    • 12 points among college graduates (62% to 74%)
    • 12 points among those who earn under $40,000 a year (57% to 69%)
    • 11 points for those who earn $80,000 or more (55% to 66%)
    • 10 points among Latinos (72% to 82%)

The fact that more than four out of five Latinos disapprove of Trump should be especially worrisome to Knight.

Latinos make up a third of Knight’s district, and almost one in four registered voters. With 82 percent disapproving of Trump, Knight’s loyalty to the Trump agenda will likely play a key role at the polls.

And not only are Latinos rallying against Trump, an increasing number are determined to vote in California’s upcoming primary.

Asked in a recent survey, 68 percent of Latinos said that they were “100 percent” certain they would vote in upcoming primary elections.

“That’s extremely high,” said Matt Barreto, the poll’s director and co-founder of Latino Decisions. He went on to say that dissatisfaction with Trump was a particularly motivating factor in increased political activism.

Across the spectrum, voters are unhappy with Donald Trump. But Knight is enamored with him.

When Trump needed Republican votes against the Affordable Care Act, Knight was there for him.

When Trump needed votes for a tax bill loathed by Knight’s constituents, Knight sided with Trump.

Knight is going all-in on his relationship with Trump. In November, voters will determine if that gamble paid off.