Ammar Campa-Najjar. Photo by Chris Stone

With the election just a week away, a new poll in the 50th Congressional District shows Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar tied with veteran Republican Darrell Issa in conservative East County. However, a second poll by two media organizations showed Issa in the lead.

The first survey, released Tuesday by Strategies 360, showed each of the candidates winning 42% of likely voters who said they have already decided or are leaning toward a candidate. Another 16% remained undecided.

Strategies 360 polled 401 likely voters between Oct. 10 and 13 using landlines, cellphones and text-to-web interviews. The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

The second poll, released later on Tuesday by the San Diego Union-Tribune and 10News showed Issa leading Campa-Najjar by 51% to 40%, with 9% undecided. That poll, conducted Oct. 22-26, had a wider margin of error than the Strategies 360 poll at 5.7%.

Strategies 360 said negative advertising may have led to an increase in undecided voters, with Issa losing significant support among independents.

“Republican Darrell Issa’s personal favorability ratings have fallen under water and his vote share has dropped seven points since late September,” according to Strategies 360. “The election for Congress is now fully up for grabs.”

John Franklin, chief strategist for the Issa campaign, disputed the accuracy of the Strategies 360 poll, saying the campaign’s own surveys tell a different story.

“It’s a phony poll,” said Franklin. “The Campa-Najjar campaign is going down in flames because voters have rejected his socialist job-killing policies.”

The largely Republican district was represented for decades by the Hunter family until this year, when Rep. Duncan Hunter resigned after pleading guilty to federal campaign finance fraud charges.

Updated at 6:20 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020

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Chris Jennewein

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