New poll shows tight race for open north Valley Congressional seat

A Valley Congressional battle key to control of the House of Representatives in 2023 is tighter than expected, a new poll shows.

A recent poll from the National Republican Congressional Committee and the John Duarte campaign shows the Modesto nursery owner closely tailing Asm. Adam Gray (D–Merced) for the open north Central Valley Congressional seat. 

The poll, first reported by Politico, surveyed 400 likely voters in the newly-drawn 13th Congressional District from Aug. 3-7. 


Gray came in with 47 percent support, compared to 43 percent for Duarte, and the margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4.9 percent. 

In the June primary, Duarte placed first with 34.1 percent of the vote, but Gray was right behind at 30.7 percent. 

In a statement to The Sun, Duarte expressed confidence in his campaign as the November election draws closer. 

“We didn’t need a poll to tell us we could win this race. We hear it from the people we are talking to every day,” Duarte said. 

“The one thing this poll confirms is what we have been seeing and that is the 13th District is going to be one of the biggest and most watched Congressional races in the country, and it is about time that the people of this valley get the attention they have always deserved.” 

Gray’s campaign, however, is taking the poll as a good sign of growth since the primary. 

“The Republican poll shows that Mr. Duarte’s three-percent lead has evaporated and Adam’s four-percent lead shows our campaign is moving in the right direction,” a spokesperson for Gray said in a statement. 

Polling also revealed that President Joe Biden is highly unpopular in the district that he carried by 11 points in 2020. 

Biden has a 43 percent approval rating from voters in the 13th District, but 52 percent of respondents disapprove of the president. 

On a generic ballot, however, Democrats lead 46 percent to 43 percent in the district. 

And despite Biden’s high unpopularity, he is up from a poll from the Duarte campaign in May that had the president underwater 13 points. 

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