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CA-39 Tulchin Research for Jay Chen (Dec. 2011)

CA-39 Tulchin Research for Jay Chen (Dec. 2011)

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Published by: Daily Kos Elections on Apr 05, 2012
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04/05/2012

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182 Second Street, Suite 400 • San Francisco, CA 94105 •
(415) 874-7441January 27, 2012
To:
Interested Parties
From:Re:
Ben Tulchin and
Corey O’Neil
, Tulchin Research
Newly Drawn 39
TH
Congressional District in California ProvidesOpening for Democrat Jay Chen
With the advent of California’s new re
-districting format and the political shuffling that hasoccurred as a result of new district lines, Tulchin Research was asked to conduct a survey in the
state’s
new 39
th
Congressional District to better understand the dynamics of the district. The newlyredrawn district has merged portions of the old 40
th
and 42
nd
Congressional Districts together,including the home of Ed Royce, who currently represents the 40
th
Congressional District. The new39
th
Congressional District contains only about
a third of Royce’s o
ld 40
th
Congressional District.Furthermore, the demographics of this new district reflect the reality of present-day California asthe district now contains large Latino and Asian populations. With Royce being drawn into thedistrict with large ethnic communities, there is a unique and realistic opportunity for a qualifiedAsian-American Democrat such as Jay Chen to make his case to voters and win them over nextNovember.Here are the numerous factors as to why Jay Chen can make this a very competitive raceand ultimately win this seat.
Polling shows Chen starts off within striking distance of the Republican Congressman and
moves into a statistical tie with Royce 
with just a little bit of information about thecandidates provided.
o
Fully 29 percent of the district is Asian and 33 percent is Latino. Even moreimportantly, the survey shows both groups strongly support Chen, especially oncethey hear more about the candidates. After hearing basic positive information aboutboth candidates, Chen outperforms Royce by 30 points among Asian and Latinovoters.
Republican incumbent Congressmen Ed Royce has been drawn into the district and will becompelled to spend money introducing himself to many voters in the newly drawn district.
o
Large portions of voters in the new 39
th
district
don’t
know who Royce is which willweaken any incumbent advantage he might have had as a sitting Congressman.
Anti-incumbency sentiments among voters and their displeasure with their representativesin Washington provide an opening for an accomplished candidate like Chen who has animpressive profile and is not a career politician from Washington. Furthermore, Chen
sname recognition in the district is surprisingly high at 25 percent, which can be attributed tohis work on the school board as well as national exposure he has received in the mediaincluding The Daily Show, the BBC and the Los Angeles Times.
The ethnic diversity of the new district serves as an advantage for Chen, the son of Chineseimmigrants who is fluent in both Chinese and Spanish.
 
Tulchin Research
 –
Poll Results in CA CD-39
2
Given the context of the newly drawn district and the new
“top 2” primary system
inCalifornia, the poll reinforces the view that this can be a winnable race for Chen. Chen can likelyavoid primary competition for the nomination as he has already won the recommendation of theDemocratic Party for full endorsement at the California Democratic Convention.We provide an analysis of our key findings below.
Key Findings
 
Voters Dislike Congress and Republicans in Congress:
Voters in this district showstrong displeasure with both the U.S. Congress in general and Republicans in Congress inparticular. Over a majority of voters (52 percent) hold unfavorable opinions of our lawmakers inWashington while just 18 percent hold favorable opinions of them. Republicans in Congress areviewed nearly as poorly, as a plurality of voters in the district (43 percent) give them a negativerating, while just under a third (31 percent) view Republicans in Congress positively.
Favorability Ratings
Now, I am going to read you a list of public figures and organizations. For each, I would like you to tell me if you have a generally favorable, neutral, or generally unfavorable opinion of that person or organization. If you have never heard of that person or group, please say so.
 
TotalFavorableTotalUnfavorableFav - Unfav
U.S. Congress 18% 52% -34Republicans in Congress 31% 43% -12
Job Approval Ratings for Royce
 –
A Big Question Mark for Voters:
As an incumbentmember of Congress, Ed Royce suffers from the dual problems of being part of an unpopularinstitution (Congress) and from redistricting which has now made him unfamiliar to half of voters inthe new district, thereby taking away much of the advantage of incumbency. Specifically, Roycedraws an approval rating of 41 percent and disapproval rating of 14 percent, with nearly a majorityof voters (45 percent) not knowing enough about him to assess his performance in Congress.These results show that he does not have strong attachments with voters in the new district, whichgives a candidate like Chen an opportunity to defeat the Republican Congressman.
Job Performance Ratings
Now, I am going to read you some names. For each one, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of how they are handling their job.
 
TotalApproveTotalDisapprove
Don’t Know
 
Ed Royce as Congressman 41% 14% 45%
Chen Is Competitive in a Head-to-Head Match-Up with Royce:
Looking at the generalelection horserace match-up between the two candidates, Chen starts off within striking distancedespite lower name recognition and moves into a statistical dead-heat after some basic positiveinformation about both candidates. In a race against Royce, a third of voters (33 percent) start offsupporting Jay Chen while half of the electorate (50 percent) support Royce, with 17 percent ofvoters undecided. After positive information about both candidates is presented to voters, however,Chen
’s
support grows significantly
while Royce’s drops.
He pulls nearly even with the long-time

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