Embattled Rep. Knight falls behind challenger Katie Hill in latest poll

Congressman Steve Knight

Democratic challenger Katie Hill holds a 4-point lead in the latest L.A. Times poll.

Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) trails Democratic challenger Katie Hill by 4 points in the latest poll conducted by U.C. Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies (IGS).

The poll, commissioned by the L.A. Times, shows Hill in the lead with 50 percent of the support, while Knight lags behind with just 46 percent.

Hill is buoyed by a “significant gender gap,” says the Times, leading among women voters by a 53-44 margin. Men are evenly split between the two candidates.

In a district where Latinos make up 20 percent of the voters, Hill leads by a wide 2-to-1 margin, 62 percent to 32 percent.

Over the past two years, Knight has closely aligned himself to Trump and the Trump agenda. In 2016, Knight voted for Trump, and followed up that support by backing Trump’s legislative agenda 99 percent of the time.

However, the poll shows only 45 percent of likely voters in the district approve of Trump and “over half of the voters have a strongly negative view of Trump.”

Health care is often cited as one of the top concerns of voters headed into the midterm elections. On this issue, the differences between the candidates is clear.

Knight voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and backed the Republican health care repeal plan. Knight’s preferred bill, which passed the House of Representatives with his support, would have caused 23 million people to lose access to health insurance. Further, the bill gutted protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Other provisions in the bill would have given insurance agencies the ability to charge cancer survivors, asthma patients, and other individuals with pre-existing conditions thousands more in health care costs every year.

Hill, on the other hand, supports protecting the ACA and finding ways for more people, not fewer, to afford health insurance.

Before this poll, a Sienna College poll showed Knight with a 2-point lead. Most election experts rate the race a toss-up.

The candidates have participated in two debates (synopses here and here) so far, and another debate is scheduled for Oct. 13.

The IGS poll surveyed 680 likely voters, and was conducted from Sept. 16-23.