Trump loyalty may doom Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election hopes

Donald Trump

Voters don't want a representative so closely tied to Trump.

More than half of likely voters in California’s 48th Congressional District are thinking twice about Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, with barely four in ten inclined to re-elect him, according to a new poll.

The embattled Orange County lawmaker is facing stiff opposition in what used to be a safe Republican district. And the new poll sheds light on the depth of opposition to the 70-year-old, 15-term Rohrabacher, including the reasons constituents may be looking to oust him in November.

Perhaps most worrying for Rohrabacher is the gap among independent voters. By a 2-to-1 margin, voters with no party preference said they’re not inclined to re-elect Rohrabacher.

When broken down by the age of voters, there is no age bracket that leans toward re-electing Rohrabacher. Younger voters are especially disinclined to vote for the incumbent congressman, with just 1 in 5 of 18- to 29-year-olds saying they would do so.

“Rohrabacher’s web of ties to Russia have drawn the attention of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team,” reports McClatchy. “But his connection to Trump may be equally, if not more, damaging. Despite a Republican voter registration edge in Rohrabacher’s district, over half of likely voters there disapprove of the president.”

While Trump’s job approval is only 47 percent in Rohrabacher’s district, even fewer constituents approve of Rohrabacher’s job in Congress: just 38 percent.

“Support for the Rohrabacher’s re-election is closely tied to voter views about President Trump,” according to the poll, which was conducted at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

Rohrabacher makes no effort to hide his loyalty to Donald Trump.

After a divisive State of the Union speech, Rohrabacher heaped praise upon Trump.

Last year, Rohrabacher held a fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. This event landed him in hot water with an ethics watchdog group that criticized Rohrabacher and others for “effectively paying tribute to Trump by frequenting his properties.”

Both Trump and Rohrabacher often take the side of Vladimir Putin and Russia over American intelligence agencies. At a recent congressional hearing on cybersecurity, Rohrabacher once again went to bat for Russia, reviving a long-debunked claim that the 2016 hack of the DNC was an inside job. U.S. intelligence agencies agree that it was Russia who did the hacking, but Rohrabacher would rather earn his title of “Putin’s favorite congressman.

This poll provides additional evidence as to why Democrats are targeting Rohrabacher this congressional cycle. His poor fundraising performance in 2017, where he was twice embarrassed by raising less than a Democratic challenger, only adds to Democratic enthusiasm.

Democrats nationwide need to pick up 24 seats in November to regain control of the House of Representatives. With dismal poll numbers and anemic fundraising, Rohrabacher might help Democrats get one step closer to their goal.