Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D) led state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) in the race for the 26th district, according to a poll conducted for the Democrat’s campaign and obtained by Roll Call.
In a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, Brownley topped Strickland by 4 points, 48 percent to 44 percent, in the competitive battle for this open, Ventura County-based seat. While Brownley’s lead was within the margin of error, Democrats view this poll as a good sign for her in what could be among the closest House races in California.
It also found President Barack Obama ahead of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, 50 percent to
45 percent, and Democrats ahead, 46 percent to 42 percent, in the generic Congressional ballot test.
Brownley was a late entrant to the race after Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett dropped out unexpectedly in February. With a Democratic voter registration edge in the district, Democratic groups spent big to ensure Brownley’s advancement to the general election to face Strickland, a top GOP recruit. After both turned in strong second-quarter fundraising reports, Strickland held a cash-on-hand edge of $1 million to $322,000 as of June 30.
The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted July 15-19 by Tulchin Research and had a 4.9-point margin of error.