There goes that narrative about Trump…
After the June primary the metrics show that Amador is in the same zone that Republicans experienced in 2010 and Amador’s close race against McNerney in 2014.
A telephone survey of high-propensity registered voters within the 9th Congressional District was conducted between the dates of September 10 and September 11, 2016. The sample size of 350 yields a sampling error of less than +/- 5.5%.
Results demonstrated a strong early position for retired U.S. Marshal Tony Amador when matched against the incumbent Jerry McNerney with a 46.3-38.2 general election split. Interestingly, Jerry McNerney’s vital signs were mediocre with 34% favorable and 26% unfavorable.
In the presidential contest, Clinton is struggling with a 42.2 to Trump’s 39.8. More telling is the issue drift in Trump’s direction: with Trump besting Clinton on immigration by 52.9 to Clinton’s 37.3 and on the issue of National Security Trump beats Clinton 47 to 42.
In the general election contest, the support for Amador comes from two sources. First, he has commanding support from Republicans. In the general election match up, Tony captures 83% vote share among Republicans; slightly more than the 81% Democrat vote share by McNerney who has a significant drop off of Latino voters. An even more encouraging sign is that among independent voters, Amador captures 52% of the vote compared to McNerney’s 40%.
If Amador can keep the independent differential near the points found in this poll, Amador is well positioned to make the 9th district even closer than it was in 2014.
The explanation for the above results can be attributed to the district. Historically the voters of the 9th District self-identify as conservative by a 2:1 ratio (60% conservative and 29% liberal). The enthusiasm factor favors Republicans by a difference of 45% to 24%, with a switch vote percentage of 14%. Obama’s 2012 performance in the 9th CD has evaporated coupled with Hillary’s down ticket suppression of the Democrat base vote
Significantly, Jerry McNerney’s attempt to sidestep the Hillary campaign and assume that his incumbency will carry his election is a shaky assumption at best.
In summary, the Amador campaign is trending in the desired direction. As one of the sleeper districts in the state, CD 9 is behaving as one might reasonably expect from a central valley district. The projected turnout model based on the primary numbers have narrowed the registration gap to almost dead even.
This race’s rating will shift dramatically from safe Dem to tossup as soon as a moderate effort is made to elevate the best candidate Republicans have offered in years—Tony Amador.