Aweek after rubbishing challenger Ro Khanna’s internal poll that showed he had closed the 20-point gap and is now in a dead heat with incumbent United States Representative Mike Honda and asserting that their poll showed Honda ahead by 15
points, the Honda camp acknowledged the local CBS affiliate poll that showed the race was now neck-and-neck.
Honda’s camp launched a blistering attack against
Khanna, accusing him of many things, including accepting PAC (Political Action Committee), and exhorted people to contribute funds urgently to ensure Honda was re-elected and not pipped at the post November 4.
Last week, David Binder Research of San Francisco,
hired by the Khanna camp, had reported the race at 38
percent to 38 percent, with 24 percent undecided. The
Honda camp immediately released its own poll, showing him leading Khanna by 42 to 27, with 31 percent
The Honda camp also claimed that according to the latest fundraising numbers released by the Federal Election
Commission, Khanna doesn’t have enough funds to meet
its payroll and rent for the remainder of the campaign,
which Khanna vehemently denied in an interview with
India Abroad (India Abroad, October 24).
Last week, Honda’s campaign manager Doug Greven
wrote to supporters and donors, ‘ Two points — that’s our
lead in CBS’s new poll… We knew this race would be
close, especially after Ro Khanna and his SuperPAC
poured millions into a smear campaign against Mike, and
the polls show it has tightened.’
Greven implored supporters to urgently contribute to
the Honda coffers ‘to help us fight back against Khanna’s
misleading attacks… Two points is the difference between
a winning campaign and a losing one. We have hundreds
of volunteers making phone calls and knocking on doors,
and big plans for these final two weeks, but they won’t
matter if we don’t have the resources we need. This elec-
tion is still ours to win, but we can’t do it alone.’
‘I spent the weekend poring over the fundraising report
that Ro Khanna’s SuperPAC filed,’ Greven added, ‘and I
think it tells the real story of this race. Mike has received
donations from more than 10,000 supporters like you, but
Khanna is relying on a SuperPAC that got almost a half-
million dollars from just 16 fat cats and corporations,
A buoyant Khanna camp, obviously elated by the new
poll and hoping it will help add much needed funds to its
coffers on the eve of the election, said the new poll ‘out
from CBS News today shows this race is still a dead heat,
and a statistical tie — with Ro at 35 percent and
Congressman Mike Honda at 37 percent.’
The margin of error is 4.2 percent.
Tyler Law, Khanna’s communications director, wrote,
‘Here’s the number that really caught my eye — 28 per-
cent of the electorate is undecided. That means we have
a whole lot of voters left to convince, and only 15 days
‘We’re up against a well-funded opponent who will say
anything to win,’ Law added. ‘Just this morning, the
Honda campaign released a desperate attack ad that
accuses Ro of supporting tax breaks to millionaires, pro-
moting policies that would outsource our jobs, and priva-
tizing social security benefits. Those are all blatant lies. Ro
has made his positions on those issues clear from the very
beginning—he supports asking the wealthiest few to pay
their fair share, closing special interest-driven corporate
tax loopholes, and protecting Social Security.’
Meanwhile, early voting was already underway as
Honda sought his eighth term, and the SurveyUSA poll
conducted by the CBS affiliate showed Khanna leading
among Asian Americans who are a majority in the district
encompassing Silicon Valley, while Honda leads among
whites, blacks and Hispanic Americans.
The poll also shows Honda leads among Democrats,
moderates and liberals. Khanna leads among Republicans, Independents and conservatives.
SurveyUSA interviewed 650 registered voters from the
17th Congressional District from October 16 through
October 19. Of those interviewed, 579 were determined to
be likely to vote on or before the November 4 election.
The Silicon Valley newspapers were solidly behind
Khanna, 38, having strongly endorsed him over the Asian
American icon Honda, 73.
Honda’s advertisement alleged that as a means to give
tax breaks for millionaires, Khanna opposed taxing capital
gains as ordinary income and calls the current corporate
tax rate too high while admitting many companies already
pay less than they should.
It also accused Khanna — on the issue of offshoring —
as supporting the lowering the repatriation tax on corporations, or in the alternative letting some US companies
repatriate overseas profits without being taxed.
The most vitriolic attack in the ad by the Honda cam-
paign was that ‘Khanna’s funders even helped cut off elec-
tricity to California,’ which is a reference to John Arnold,
the Texas energy hedge-fund billionaire who with his wife
not only contributed $10,400 this year to Khanna’s cam-
paign, but also put $250,000 into a superPAC created to
support Khanna’s campaign.
Arnold worked as an energy trader at Enron, the conglomerate, which before its collapse in 2002 had gamed
California’s electricity grid that cost the state’s residents
billions of dollars in surcharges.
The Honda camp said the six-figure ad by was in
response to weeks of attacks from the Khanna campaign,
including a mailers that had described Honda as a ‘liber-
Greven said this mailer had been castigated by the
Democrats in this race — one of the most watched
Democrat on Democrat Congressional contests.
‘After losing the primary by 20 points, Khanna’s entire
campaign has been about attacking Congressman Honda,
and today we’re hitting back,’ Greven said. ‘Voters need to
know that Khanna is more concerned with representing
his wealthy right-wing donors than the people who are
working hard in this district to get by.’
He said that with only $77,126 in debt-free cash remain-
ing as of October 1, Khanna had increasingly relied on his
super PAC to continue his attacks against Honda and
noted that FEC filings proved that his super PAC is fund-
ed mostly by Arnold and that this super PAC, Californians
for Innovation, has spent hundreds of thousands of dol-
lars in support of Khanna.
Watch out for Ro!
The Mike Honda versus Ro Khanna Congressional battle is headed for a photo-finish, reports Aziz Haniffa
Ro Khanna and Mike Honda P A R