Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) leads Democrat Christy Smith in California’s 25th Congressional District, according to a poll released on Thursday.
Garcia, who won a special election to replace former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), helped flip the district for Republicans for the first time since 1998. The Republican’s victory over Smith, a California state assemblywoman, during the special election is even more significant considering that the Los Angeles, California, district had been trending towards the left in recent years.
Now, Garcia, a Naval aviator and defense contractor, hopes that California voters will reelect him in the November 2020 congressional elections.
A poll commissioned on behalf of the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) found that Garcia leads Smith by seven points, or 48 to 41 percent, with eight percent of voters undecided.
The CLF memo wrote that Garcia is a unique candidate for the district, as 14 percent of voters said they would vote for Garcia but not for a generic Republican, which underscores “the uniqueness of his candidacy.”
“Garcia’s lead is more impressive given the fact that Democrats have a 4-point registration advantage among likely voters. This is due in part to the fact that Garcia is getting 18% of the vote from registered Democrats,” the CLF memo added.
The CLF memo noted that voters favor Garcia over Smith.
Forty-two percent of voters have a favorable impression of Garcia, and 31 percent have an unfavorable impression. In contrast, 35 percent of voters have a positive view of Smith, and 33 percent have an unfavorable view of the California Democrat.
The poll also found that of the likely voters in the district who have an opinion of both candidates, or 57 percent of the electorate, Garcia leads Smith 51 to 45 percent.
“Garcia’s special election victory was clearly not a fluke, and he remains in a strong position to hold this seat in November,” the CLF memo wrote.
The poll emerges as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that Republicans still have the opportunity to take back the House majority. Republicans need to retake a net 17 seats to regain the House.
McCarthy said recently that Garcia’s victory over Smith during the special election was the “best indication” of Republican momentum going into the November elections.
American Viewpoint conducted the poll on behalf of the Congressional Leadership Fund, sampling 400 likely voters in California’s 25th Congressional District between July 26 and 28. The margin of error for the poll is 4.9 percentage points.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.