Raul Ruiz Takes Lead in California’s 36th District

Seven term Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack is in trouble in the 36th district, as Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz has pulled ahead in the polls. Ruiz leads Bono Mack 47-46, with just 7% of voters undecided. This represents a real breakthrough for Raul Ruiz; in August he was down to Bono Mack 43-54, in September he was down 44-47. The poll also shows a breakthrough in Ruiz’s favorability numbers. In PPP’s last 2 polls in the district, Ruiz had not yet fully introduced himself to voters. In August Ruiz was largely unknown with a favorability rating of 29-18, with 53% not sure. In September that improved to 35-21 with 44% not sure. Ruiz now holds a positive net favorability rating of 42-32, with 26% not sure. The trend line bodes well as it appears the more voters have seen of Ruiz, the more they like him. By contrast, Mary Bono Mack has never been able to hit the threshold of 50% favorability in any of the 3 polls PPP has conducted in the district. Her rating sits at 4543, largely unchanged from her 41-44 score in September and her 43-39 score in August. With the election coming down the home stretch, Ruiz still with some room to grow in terms of name recognition and Bono Mack facing something of a ceiling in terms of her favorability ratings, the momentum appears to be with the challenger in this race. PPP surveyed 1,364 likely California 10th district voters from October 12th to 14th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-2.65. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.

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