I recently learned from sources-who-know that a recent poll by Assembly Democrats shows freshman Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva trailing her presumptive Republican opponent, Young Kim. I didn’t learn what size gap the poll showed between the two candidates, but was informed the caucus leadership wasn’t feeling very encouraged.
That’s not to say there won’t be a ton of money poured into the race by elements of the ruling Democratic coalition. Quirk-Silva’s narrow victory last November was an upset, but one won against a flawed and distracted incumbent. Next year, in Young Kim, she will be facing a fresh, energetic and appealing candidate who (among other things) negates the advantages Quirk-Silva has as the woman candidate.
And being the target of a recall campaign doesn’t help. If a serious efforts develops, it will prove a major drain on her resources and voter support (AD65 isn’t exactly a gun-grabber electorate).
Sources close to Kim’s campaign hadn’t heard about the poll but were not surprised by the findings, and expressed confidence the election will result in a win for Kim.
It’s a year until the election. A lot can and will happen in the intervening months. But I think it is safe to say AD65 will be among the most watched legislative contests in the state, and represent one of the GOP’s best pick-up opportunities.