SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Rep. Duncan Hunter’s lead over Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar in the 50th Congressional District race has shrunk to just three percentage points, according to a new poll released one week before Election Day.
Hunter’s lead over Campa-Najjar has dwindled in the weeks since the congressman and his wife Margaret were indicted on suspicion of misusing campaign funds to pay for extravagant vacations and other personal expenses.
In the latest 10News/San Diego Union-Tribune poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, 48 percent of likely voters in the 50th District said they would vote to reelect the Republican Hunter, but 45 percent said they would put their support behind Campa-Najjar. Eight percent said they are undecided.
On Aug. 27, a 10News/U-T poll showed Hunter with a seemingly comfortable 47 percent to 39 percent lead over Campa-Najjar. That poll was released shortly after Hunter’s federal indictment.
VIEW LATEST POLL | VIEW AUG. 2018 POLL
In that August poll, 42 percent of voters surveyed felt the charges against Hunter were politically motivated.
Fast-forward to the Oct. 30 poll, and 53 percent voters said they believe -- based on what they know so far -- that Hunter broke the law. Additionally, 57 percent of voters said that Hunter's claim that his wife was responsible for all wrongdoing “is unbelievable.“
According to the latest poll, 45 percent of voters surveyed said they disapprove of the job Hunter is doing as their congressman.
SurveyUSA added, “Of those who voted for Hunter in 2016, before he and his wife Margaret were charged with spending $250,000 of campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, 81% stick with Hunter in 2018.”
Since the August poll, each campaign has released ads attacking the other candidate. Campa-Najjar’s ad slammed Hunter for his alleged misuse of campaign funds. Hunter’s ad raised eyebrows for accusing Campa-Najjar of “being funded by the Muslim Brotherhood,” among other claims.
Campa-Najjar denounced the ad as racist and un-American.
Hunter’s attacks on Campa-Najjar weren’t just limited to TV ads. In a speech during a Ramona event in late September, Hunter suggested his Democratic opponent is an “Islamist” that is part of an effort to infiltrate the U.S. government. The Republican also accused Campa-Najjar of changing his name “to sound Hispanic.”
Hunter’s father, former congressman Duncan Hunter Sr., got involved and called Campa-Najjar a national security threat during a press briefing that the Democratic challenger was present for.
Hunter Sr. said his son’s campaign ads attacking Campa-Najjar’s family history had nothing to do with race and everything to do with terrorism.
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