Duncan Hunter leave courthouse
Rep. Duncan Hunter leaves the courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A poll conducted over the past week shows indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter retaining a sizable lead in the race for the 50th Congressional District.

The Monmouth University Poll found 49 percent supporting Hunter compared to 41 percent for Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar with 10 percent undecided.

Despite Hunter’s indictment on charges of fraudulent use of campaign funds, he retains strong name recognition and a favorable opinion among voters in the largely rural East County district. Hunter and his father before him have represented the district in Congress for nearly four decades.

Thirty-five percent of respondents in the new poll said they have a favorable opinion of Hunter, while 33 percent had an unfavorable opinion, and 32 percent had no opinion.

Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration staffer, was rated favorable by 24 percent of respondents, and unfavorable by 16 percent, but 60 percent had no opinion.

Among voters who said they support Hunter, 21 percent said he is definitely or probably guilty of the charges against him.

“One in ten voters in this district think Hunter is probably guilty of campaign fraud, but they are going to vote for him anyway. I know this is a deep red district, but you’ve got to wonder if this isn’t taking partisan loyalty to a new extreme,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll was conducted by telephone from Sept. 22 to 26, 2018 among 401 voters. It has a 5-point margin of error.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.