Internal Poll: Gray, Duarte set for Nov. face-off for open Valley Congressional seat

With the race for the open 13th Congressional District heating up, one Republican appears to be on solid ground to make it to the general election. 

In an internal poll obtained by The Sun on Thursday, Modesto farmer John Duarte, a Republican, is sitting him firmly in second place behind longtime Asm. Adam Gray (D–Merced). 

According to the poll, conducted by national polling firm Remington Research Group, Duarte comes in at 18 percent. 

While Gray holds a commanding lead at 37 percent, the next Republican is David Giglio with nine percent of support from voters polled. 

Republican Elizabeth Heng garnered four percent in the poll, but she did not qualify for the ballot despite previously announcing her candidacy for the seat. 

That leaves her full focus on the special election for the current 22nd district vacated by Tulare Republican Devin Nunes. 

Democrat Phil Arballo also grabbed four percent in the poll, while Republican Diego Javier Martinez came in at three percent. 

The poll found that 26 percent of voters are undecided. 

Among Republican voters, Duarte was seen as favorable by 28 percent of voters while four percent view him as unfavorable. The remaining 68 percent did not have an opinion on him. 

On the other hand, Giglio came in with slightly worse among GOP voters: 18 percent favorable, seven percent unfavorable with 75 percent not having an opinion. 

“With John Duarte’s strong ballot share so early in the election cycle combined with his name ID (indicating there is only room to grow in favorability and ballot share) Duarte finds himself in the best position of any Republican in the race to move on from the Primary and defeat the Democrat in November,” a statement from Remington Research Group reads. 

“He has the resume and values that best align with Republican voters in the district, and will enjoy rising numbers throughout the course of the race. 

The survey was conducted from March 22 through March 27 with 591 likely 2022 primary election voters participating.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.