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Democratic Poll: Freshman Holds Minor Lead Over Carl DeMaio

Scott Peters is a freshman Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., holds a slight lead over his GOP challenger, former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, more than three months from Election Day, in a new poll conducted for House Majority PAC and provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

Peters leads DeMaio, 48 percent to 43 percent — slightly outside the survey's 4.9 point margin of error. The poll was conducted by GBA Strategies and surveyed 400 likely voters via live telephone between July 20-22.  

This race in California's 52nd District, located in and around San Diego, is a top Republican target in November. The National Republican Congressional Committee has touted DeMaio as a  top recruit  in the district that President Barack Obama won with 52 percent last cycle.  Here's the full survey memo:  

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Both Peters and DeMaio are sitting on large war chests: Peters had more than $1.9 million in the bank as of June 30, while DeMaio had more than $1.4 million. DeMaio has placed $1.2 million in television advertising buys for the fall. The NRCC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees have reserved television airtime for the race as well — a sign both parties expect a competitive contest. The NRCC reserved $1.7 million in television airtime, while the DCCC reserved $1.4 million. House Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC that commissioned the poll, also reserved more than $510,000 in fall advertising.  

Combined, operatives expect this race will be one of the most expensive House contests of the cycle.  

Last cycle, Peters defeated Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., by a 2.5-point margin.  

California's 52nd District is rated a Tossup contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.