July 20th, 2016
The race to between first-term Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) and his Democratic challenger Bryan Caforio is tightening according to a new poll by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Knight, considered one of the most vulnerable congressional incumbents in California, had the backing of 46% of the 400 likely general election voters polled, while Caforio had 40% and 14% remained undecided, according to a DCCC memo provided to The Times.
The poll shows Caforio, an attorney, with an eight-point lead over Knight among decline-to-state voters (40% to 32%) and an 25-point lead among Latino voters (53% to 28%).
Knight has deep roots in the district from serving in local office. He is the son of the late William J. “Pete” Knight, a former Air Force test pilot and well known Republican state senator in the Antelope Valley.
Caforio is a first-time candidate and new to the district.
Democrats are making an aggressive play for Knight’s seat, betting that they can tie the incumbent closely to his party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
The poll showed Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Trump 41% to 36% in the district, which extends from the edge of the Mojave Desert in Lancaster to the suburban cities of Santa Clarita and Simi Valley.
Once a Republican stronghold, the district is trending more and more in Democrats’ favor. They now have a slim advantage of less than a percentage point among registered voters in the district.