Republicans are virtually tied on the generic ballot in a blue Los Angeles congressional district, a warning sign for Democrats as they fight an increasingly uphill battle to retain control of the House in November.
According to a March 30 OnMessage poll obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon, Democrats hold just a 1-point advantage on the generic ballot among likely primary voters in California's 26th Congressional District. That finding marks a stark decline for Democrats—incumbent congresswoman Julia Brownley (D.) won the district by 21 points less than two years ago. Sixty-two percent of respondents, meanwhile, feel the United States is "on the wrong track" under President Joe Biden.
The poll's release comes shortly after the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) added the 26th district to its expanded target list. It also comes shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) unveiled $7 million worth of ad spending in Los Angeles, a reflection of the widening political battlefield Democrats will have to defend to maintain House control. Four California Republicans flipped blue seats to red in 2020, and the NRCC is targeting five additional Golden State seats this year.
In addition to the OnMessage poll's generic ballot findings, the survey also shows Republican candidate Matt Jacobs with a strong lead among Republican primary voters. Jacobs, a former federal prosecutor, holds 44 percent of the Republican primary electorate, while 37 percent are undecided, the poll shows. No other candidate has double-digit support, according to the poll.
OnMessage's survey marks the second time in recent days Democrats have seen discouraging poll numbers come out of Southern California. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released in late March shows that just 46 percent of likely California voters approve of Biden, while 51 percent disapprove. Those numbers mark a 19-point skid in just one year—Biden enjoyed the support of 65 percent of likely Golden State voters in a 2021 poll from the same group. Biden won 60 percent of the vote in California in 2020.