On the Issues: 48th District: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Harley Rouda
Voters in California’s 48th Congressional District, in coastal Orange County, are most concerned with the economy, healthcare, gun laws and immigration, according to a recent poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
The race between incumbent Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa and Democratic challenger Harley Rouda is tight; two polls released recently have the candidates tied.
Republicans have a 10-point voter registration advantage, but the district voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — one of seven GOP-led districts in the state that went for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Outside of policy, there is one issue that could potentially impact the result: Russia. Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, has been dogged by accusations of overly friendly ties to pro-Russia lobbyists. Some 44% of likely voters said Rohrabacher’s connections with Russia made them less likely to support the incumbent, and 49% said the ties had no effect on which candidate they would support. Democrats have made Rohrabacher’s friendliness with Russian President Vladimir Putin a key issue, running several ads focusing on the relationship. Rouda, a real estate entrepreneur, said in one TV ad, “...it’s time for a leader who represents us, not Russia.”
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