SAN DIEGO — It appears the Congressional seat vacated by Republican Duncan Hunter will remain in Republican hands, according a new scientific poll.
The ABC-10 Union-Tribune scientific poll shows Republican Darrell Issa leading Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar 51 percent to 40 percent, with 9 percent undecided. The poll, released Tuesday, has a margin of error of 5.7 points. It comes after the two prior polls showed the candidates in a virtual tie for the 50th Congressional District, which comprises most of East County and stretches into southern Riverside County.
The shift came because independents moved to support Issa. Last month, the poll showed Campa-Najjar leading Issa in independents by 13 points. Tuesday's poll showed a major swing, with Issa leading among independents by 14 points. That's a 27-point swing.
"In the end, independents in red-leaning area tend to be more red leaning, vice versa for blue-leaning areas, and so it's not surprising that Darrell Issa, as we get closer to the election, is bringing home these independents out in East County, San Diego," said Thad Kousser, political scientist at UC San Diego.
The 50th District is the county's last in which Republicans outnumber Democrats in registration, giving Issa the advantage.
In an interview Tuesday, Issa said he was traveling the district from Temecula to Jamul, meeting voters with social distancing.
"I think my 18 years of support for pro-business, pro-50th type voting has allowed me to whether some pretty egregious claims of, somehow, corruptness and so on," he said.
Campa-Najjar declined an interview Tuesday, but released this statement: “I’m inviting voters to reach me personally at 619-721-5148. The only poll that matters is on Election Day, and CA-50 voters have defied the odds time and time again. Darrell Issa is trying to buy and lie his way back to Congress. But CA-50 voters know me, I’ve spent the last four years listening to their needs. And I know that in one week, voters will show the world what I’ve seen over the past four years.”
In response to that statement, Issa said, "It's a statement of somebody who is way behind in the polls, not likely to win, and somebody who spent more money and went negative claiming that, somehow, I was unfit from day one."
SurveyUSA polled 538 likely voters in the district from Oct. 22 to Oct. 26.