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Hahn Poll Finds Freshman With Early Primary Lead

Fresh off a special-election victory and already running in a new district thanks to redistricting, Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) holds a strong early lead against her primary opponents, according to an internal campaign poll obtained by Roll Call.

The poll, conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, found Hahn taking 47 percent in a Democratic primary in the newly drawn 44th district, which includes her hometown of San Pedro at the southern tip and runs north into Compton and other parts of South Los Angeles.

Rep. Laura Richardson (D), who represents the current Long Beach-based 37th district but is running in the new 44th, finished second with 24 percent, followed by Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D) with 7 percent. Twenty-two percent were undecided. The poll was taken of 300 likely voters from Aug. 4-7 and carried a margin of error of 5.6 points.

Hahn likely received a name identification boost from the attention surrounding the surprisingly competitive special election she just won in the current 36th district, which is being broken up into at least three separate districts. She’s currently raising money to help retire her debt and begin stockpiling a war chest for a competitive re-election race.

Party insiders have said Hahn, the only white candidate of the three, could be vulnerable in the new district, which has a 28 percent African-American voting age population. But the polling memo noted that Hahn’s late father Kenny Hahn, a 40-year Los Angeles County supervisor, “remains particularly well regarded in this area for his involvement in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.”

It also stated that Hahn has lived in the district for almost 20 years and represented much of it for 10 years on the Los Angeles City Council. “As the only Member of Congress who resides in the district, Janice Hahn is clearly stronger than any of the current group of announced and potential candidates, including prominent African American and Latino office holders,” the memo states.

In separate one-on-one ballot tests, Hahn led Richardson, 47 percent to 26 percent, and Hall, 53 percent to 17 percent. Hahn receives a higher favorable rating among African-Americans than Richardson (74 percent to 68 percent), and she leads Hall, who at this early point in the race has relatively low name identification, in the portion of the district he represents in the state Assembly.

“Her strong favorable ratings and current lead across the district give her a substantial head-start that should carry significant momentum into November regardless of her opponent,” the memo states. “Any opponent faces the challenge of overcoming an overwhelming deficit in familiarity and support.”

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