Tight 20th District Congressional Race

FRESNO, California

Representatives for Valley Congressman Jim Costa are questioning the results of the latest Action News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA. It shows Costa leads Andy Vidak by just two points in the 20th District Congressional Race: 48 to 46 percent. With 6-percent undecided.

Action News reporter Sontaya Rose digs deeper into the poll results and reveals what the key will be for Costa to stay in office.

Republican Andy Vidak is a rancher and a political newcomer. The poll shows tea party support is helping him gain ground on Costa. With seven weeks until election day, just two percentage points separate the candidates.

Republican Andy Vidak says his hard work in the 20th Congressional District is reflected in the latest Exclusive Action News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA. It shows the race is becoming a tight one between Vidak and Democrat Jim Costa. "We're gonna peak at the right time. We're gaining momentum, we're meeting more and more people, and fundraising is going well," Vidak said.

The poll of 800 registered voters indicates Costa is continuing to receive strong support from women, moderates, minorities and abortion rights supporters. While Vidak is largely favored with men, gun owners, abortion rights opponents and tea party supporters.

Costa was traveling Tuesday and voting in the nation's capitol. His campaign issued a statement questioning the methods used by SurveyUSA.

It said in part: "SurveyUSA uses pre-recorded voices for robo-calls to a random list of people instead of interviewing likely voters selected from voter registration lists. SurveyUSA's results may make for good television but we doubt their reliability."

A spokesperson for SurveyUSA stands by the results, saying: "SurveyUSA regrets that the Costa campaign is so mis-informed

President Jay Leve points to SurveyUSA's top rankings among all political polls.

ABC30 Political Analyst Tony Capozzi says the results are surprising, but reflective of a general sentiment among voters that's sweeping the nation. "I think this poll shows the frustration and anger that the public has with Washington. Obama's honeymoon period is over. Now the democrats have to deal with what they've done the past two years. Well, what have they done?"

The key to Costa's re-election is the Hispanic vote. Capozzi believes if Hispanic turn-out exceeds 30-percent, Costa will not have a problem holding onto his seat.

In the past, Costa has been very popular, in a district that's largely Ag-based. Costa was first elected in 2004 ... and was re-elected in 2006. He won his third term in 2008 with 74 percent of the vote.

Vidak said, "Nobody can take that away from Jim. At one time, he was something. But he's turned his back on us here in the district. He's no longer a voice he votes with Nancy Pelosi 97-95 percent of the time that's not the values of our conservative district, that's just not."

Costa tells Action News his campaign's internal polling shows him with a much larger lead over Vidak. Tony Capozzi also says having three other Hispanic candidates on the ballot running for the state legislature could also help Costa.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.