The Wave of Roses: Campa-Najjar In Tight Race With Hunter
The Wave Of Roses is a Citizen Truth series which highlights progressive candidates and organizations which challenge corporate Third Way control of the Democratic Party. This entry looks at key United States House of Representatives races for the reignited movement in the United States. This entry showcases Ammar Campa-Najjar who is running against the Duncan Hunter who is battling criminal charges.
The 50th district of California holds a Cook Partisan Voter Index rating of R +11. However, Ammar Campa-Najjar who has the endorsement of the Justice Democrats organization is benefiting from his social democratic platform along with the criminal indictment of his Republican opponent, incumbent Duncan Hunter — who is under investigation for the illegal use of campaign funds for family vacations, video games, travel arrangements for pets, and private school tuition.
The Hunter campaign recently stooped to previously debunked rumors that Najjar is a security risk and attached to terrorism. Duncan L. Hunter, former Republican United States Congressman from California, brought up the false charges several weeks ago during a press conference.
“Mr. Najjar is a security risk,” the elder Hunter claimed during the event. “As an American congressman, he would have the right to know about American troop movements in the Middle East,” he continued using similar rhetoric that the Democratic party establishment used against Najjar during the primary process.
“This is an act of desperation,” Campa-Najjar told reporters, “Daddy had to come out and save him. Daddy is not going to bail him out this time,” Najjar continued, refusing to mince words. Najjar also used the terms “race-baiting” and “disinformation” to describe the attacks, which have also hit the airwaves.
The hail mary political tactic comes after recent polling by Tulchin Research showing the race to be a toss-up. From the firms October 4th release:
A new Tulchin Research poll conducted from September 29-October 1, 2018 in California’s 50th Congressional District finds a statistically tied race between incumbent Republican Duncan Hunter and first-time candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar. The poll finds that Hunter’s indictment for fraudulently spending $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses and his conduct since the indictment have taken a significant toll on his standing with his constituents and that he is now viewed unfavorably by a double-digit margin.
“The poll additionally finds that voter awareness of the U.S. Department of Justice’s August criminal indictment of Hunter remains high and that the scandal-plagued incumbent’s standing with voters continues to erode as the November general election grows nearer. Nearly 9 in 10 voters (87%) report having heard, read, or seen information about the indictment and a majority (51%) say they have heard “a lot.” Among those voters who have heard about the indictment, more than two-thirds (68%) say it has made them feel “less favorable” toward Hunter. Among all voters, Hunter is viewed unfavorably by a 13-point margin (34% favorable to 47% unfavorable),” the report continues.
Najjar’s campaign is well-funded, giving them the opportunity to mount a huge last-minute effort to convince late-deciding voters to grant him their vote. A combination of effective messaging and continued negativity surrounding Hunter could overcome the anti-Muslim rhetoric from his opponent’s campaign. Najjar has shown a willingness to fight and seems willing to call out the rationale behind the Hunter campaign using disinformation tactics in an attempt to retain his seat.