Sunday, October 12, 2008

California 3: Democratic Poll in California Shows Lungren Is Soft

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Maybe it’s the crummy national environment or maybe it was the topless attack ad, but a new Democratic poll in California’s 3rd district shows that Rep. Dan Lungren (R) may not be safe.

An Oct. 4-6 survey by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin and Associates (D) for physician Bill Durston (D) showed Lungren leading his Democratic challenger 33 percent to 30 percent. A large 30 percent of the electorate was undecided, according to the poll.

Two years ago, Lungren defeated Durston 60 percent to 38 percent, with two third-party candidates combining for less than 3 percent of the vote.

This cycle, Durston has been attacking the Congressman for taking junkets and money from special interests, culminating with a television ad of a shirtless Lungren walking poolside in swim trunks. Democrats have also narrowed their voter registration deficit in the district from 6 points to 4 points.

Of course, a majority of the undecided voters may end up breaking Lungren’s way in a district where President Bush garnered 58 percent of the vote in 2004. But Republican candidates can’t afford to take those voters for granted this cycle.

“Dan Lungren has done a great job representing the constituents in his district, and we’re confident the seat stays in Republican hands,” said Karen Hanretty, the National Republican Congressional Committee communications director.

This story
first appeared on on October 8, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.