SD-29 Survey: Close Between Chang and Kang; Newman is a non-factor

Sukhee Kang

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that the race in the open, GOP-held 29th Senate District is shaping up to be very a competitive contest in the fall. The two major candidates, Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, a Republican, and Democrat Sukhee Kang, former mayor of Irvine, are nearly tied among likely general-election voters in the first ask, with Chang being favored by 32% and Kang by 28%. Nearly 40% are undecided at this early point.

After a description of both candidates and their backgrounds, the race remains essentially tied, with Chang at 33% and Kang at 31%. A large number of voters, 36%, remain undecided, even after learning more about the candidates. Although she currently represents Assembly District 55, which encompasses nearly half of the Senate seat, Chang has been in office only a little more than year, and is not well-known in the Senate district. Among those voters who could rate her performance, slightly more disapproved than approved, 29%-23%.

The survey also found that several issues could negatively impact Chang in a general-election campaign:

  • In her 2014 Assembly campaign, Chang was discovered by several newspapers to have made inaccurate claims about her college attendance record. The poll found that a whopping 69% of respondents would be less likely to vote for a candidate that had made false statements about their background, including claiming they had a college degree when they in fact had none. Even among Republicans, 67% indicated they would frown on a candidate who made such claims.
  • Respondents were also very strong in their desire to have a candidate who supported tougher gun laws, with 57% saying that was an important attribute in a Senate candidate. Among minority voters in this minority-majority (68%) district, even larger majorities said a candidate’s stand on gun control was important – a huge 76% among Asians, and 65% among Latinos. When told Chang was a member of the NRA, and had voted to allow guns on school campuses, 53% of voters said they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. An even higher 63% of Asian voters in this district said they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate
  • If Donald Trump were to be the Republican nominee for president in the fall, that development could also put Chang in a bind. If Chang were to support Trump, 41% of voters would be less likely to support her. Among the two major ethnic groups in the district, voters were even more emphatic: 50% of Latinos would be less likely to vote for her, and 46% of Asians said the same.

The survey findings appear to reinforce independent characterizations of the competitiveness of this Senate seat since it was reconfigured by the Citizens Redistricting Commission in 2011. The reliable, non-partisan California Targetbook, which analyzes legislative races, has said, “Demographic shifts make this district less reliably Republican than in the past and a very competitive race can be expected.” The Orange County Register wrote that the race “is expected to be a tougher battle against Democrats and has a larger Asian constituency…Kang is expected to mount a strong campaign in a district where Republicans have a shrinking advantage of 3 percentage points.”

PPP surveyed 591 general-election voters in the 29th Senate District from March 21-22, 2016.  The margin of error is +/-4.0%.  This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews, including cell phones.



  14 comments for “SD-29 Survey: Close Between Chang and Kang; Newman is a non-factor

  1. bluebelly
    March 24, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Non-factor Newman indeed. It’s time Josh Newman join his own California Democratic Party in its endorsement of Kang.

  2. Crazy Greg
    March 25, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Josh is great, Josh is great, Josh is great……the voices keep telling me.

    • March 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Josh gives Greg the time of day which is all Greg needs to offer support; all the reasons Greg provides for a loss by Sukhee Kang also apply to Newman.

  3. Larry Shine
    March 26, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Josh who????

    The guy is NON-EXISTENT.

    • March 26, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Perhaps someday Mr. Newman will actual reach out to us; I’m happy to run his press releases. But if he won’t, I’m not inclined to go find his news. I will say, after Mr. Diamond spoke on Mr. Newman’s behalf, Sukhee Kang did much better than expected at the pre-convention meeting at the DPOC which begs the question we all hope Mr. Diamond continues to speak on Mr. Newman’s behalf because every time he does, Kang looks better.

      • Greg Diamond
        March 27, 2016 at 11:57 am

        Now THAT is interesting. How well did Sukhee expect to do?

        At any rate, if I really AM as counter-productive as you claim, then you really should welcome what I do. Too bad for Sukhee that a few dozen people in the Plumbers Hall don’t actually decide who makes the runoff.

        • Pinky
          March 27, 2016 at 7:28 pm

          Oh just shut up. No one gives a crap what you have to say

        • March 27, 2016 at 10:08 pm

          You’ve missed the point. You, speaking on behalf of John Newman sends more voters Kang’s way

          • March 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm

            I just read Greg’s lengthy critique on this piece and his comments. Where to begin? First of all, someone as prolix as Greg ought to be mindful of his own typographical errors and he does make them. And someone who couldn’t correctly read the dates of candidate’s filing statements — as he did — commenting on political analysis just makes me chuckle.

            Accusing me of projection, I find Greg to be the one projecting. I’ve never had a single Democrat complain about comments on this site. We tend to allow most comments where on Greg’s site even a safe comment uttered using a pseudonym can get deleted and the IP address banned. Its sort of hard to argue for scruples and free speech when anything that disrupts the Diamond’s narrative gets tossed.

            I’ll note that Kang has tried to reach out to Diamond multiple times by Greg’s own admission, but Diamond has already made up his mind that Kang isn’t the candidate. Newman is. It shows what a class act Kang is.

            The implication Diamond makes that Korean and other Asian voters would support Newman over Kang and that white and Latino Voters would support Newman because he’s white and not Asian, I find to be downright racist. What’s the slogan: “Newman for SD-29; He’s the White Guy.”? Hey if Newman wants to commission a poll, there is nothing stopping him.

            My favorite part — I’m somehow deeply insecure. Nope. Never have been. Wealth and status? I’m doing fine thanks and my first priority to taking care of my family, paying the bills, saving for college and retirement, not spending a rent check on a campaigned to lose by 75% of the vote or limiting a step-daughter to a $300 a year clothes allowance. Someone with Greg’s degree and experience ought to be doing very well for themselves, but don’t criticize me for having my priorities straight. Wealth? Because we have a family vacation every year? Spare me. You have to love how he’s so personally hurt and wounded by such descriptions but dishes out insults Tommy-gun style. Hypocrite.

            Nice insults to party leaders — people elected by a majority of our party. Trying to dominate others? Look to your own actions counselor; and get your glasses checked. My chat with the Kamala kids at DPOC was directed to the young man who spoke on her behalf — not the young women with her. I admire the way Diamond uses falsehoods like this but the reality is you can take all those “D” adjectives and place them in front of the word “Diamond” and them apply.

  4. Francis Beal
    March 26, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    There is no bigger NARCISSIST in todays OC Politics than Greg Diamond. The dude is ALL ABOUT THE DUDE (If I didn’t suggest he do so here Crazy Greg would use the “the dude” as some kind of badge).

    His need to be heard, right, better has reached epic porpotions…….in his mind. He posts thousand word responses to idle comments. His impulsivity and unpredictible responses , while alarming appear to be A) A classic cry for help. And B) aA warning sign that a Ted Cruz/Donald Trump meglomaniac is poisoning the local county party.

    This guy is at once, Machiavellian and Psychopathic.

    Really Greg, go see a doctor.

  5. Greg Diamond
    March 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    That comment was not worth the effort it took for you to make up a fake name with which to publish it. Too bad you didn’t take the effort to look up psychiatric terms before flinging them around like monkey poop.

    Your inattentiveness to narcissism in OC politics is amusing, though. I don’t want to name names, but ….

    Happy Easter regardless, Doc.

  6. News Intern
    March 28, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I was intrigued to read the comment and response to “Crazy Greg”. Mostly because when I wourked at NBC4/Universal in the news department we had ample dealings with David Gregory, the short lived host of Meet The Press.

    We used to call David “Crazy Greg” behind his back, mostly because of his self serving phony front. He used to proclaim to be MORE PROGRESSIVE” than all of “you kids put together”, he would berate and tease people, but should you have something that could help him, his upward mobileness or make him popular, then you were his hero……..for a day.
    David had some people fooled, mostly bottom feeders, who talked him up to management, but by the third taping of MTP, it was clear, his illness was to great an obstacle.

    As Politico reports today: “in the end GREGory, was widely disliked within the organization, and his ambition and vanity rubbed colleagues the wrong way.”

    I can say it wasn’t “Crazy Greg’s” mental illness that did him in, rather he was just a dick.

    Sound familiar???…

    • March 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      What illness did Gregory have? Vanity?

  7. Pinky
    March 28, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Hey Greg. Hope that kidney stone hurt like hell

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