An indictment over campaign spending hasn’t shaken Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) from holding the lead in his re-election bid over Democrat challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar in California’s 50th congressional district.
Hunter led Campa-Najjar byeight points, 47%-39%, in a SurveyUSA poll released Monday that identified 13 percent as undecided (no margin of error was reported). Hunter’s support appears to have remained steady from California’s June primary election where Hunter took home 47 percent of the vote, the same percentage he received in the new poll.
Investigation into Hunter’s campaign funds were widely reported ahead of the June primary election and Hunter still achieved a commanding first place finish, with Campa-Najjar trailing in second with just over 17 percent of the vote.
On August 21, Hunter and his wife were indicted for alleged misuse of campaign funds. Monday’s poll was conducted after that indictment, from August 22-26, and shows at least three-quarters of those polled were aware of the new indictment at the time they were questioned.
A plurality of respondents, 42 percent, believed the charges were politically motivated. 36 percent believed they were not, and 22 percent were not sure. 64 percent of Republicans believed the charges to be politically motivated.
Hunter and his wife have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
The boost in support to Campa-Najjar could be because of the consolidation of support from Democrats, the San Diego Union-Tribune suggested.
Campa-Najjar’s 39 percent showing in the SurveyUSA poll stands close to just three points higher than the combined 36.4 percent of primary voters who supported one of the three Democrats running in the June primary.
Campa-Najjar has faced heat over his Palestinian terrorist grandfather, Muhammed Yusuf al-Najjar, who headed up the intelligence activities for the Fatah faction and was allegedly linked to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympics in Munich in 1972.
Campa-Najjar has distanced himself from his grandfather’s views and actions.
Republicans took home a combined 62.4 percent of the vote between three candidates, including Hunter, in the June primary. A no party preference candidate received 1.2 percent.
Far-left Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez encouraged their Twitter followers to support Campa-Najjar in the significantly Republican 50th congressional district.
Hunter’s father, Duncan Hunter, Sr., held the congressional seat prior to Hunter Jr. winning it in 2008.
Campa-Najjar previously served in the Labor Department under President Barack Obama.
Hunter and Campa-Najjar will face off as the only two names on the November ballot for 50th district voters to choose from to represent them in the House of Representatives.
Under California’s Proposition 14 top-two primary system, no write-in candidates are allowed, and there is no process for allowing political parties to remove a candidate.