Republican congressional candidate Justin Fareed released a new poll last week showing he was two points ahead of his Democratic opponent Salud Carbajal — 46 to 44 — and a week later, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a poll of its own poll indicating that Carbajal was 10 points ahead — 49 to 39.
While poll results are notoriously fungible, campaign finance reports are less malleable to manipulation. For the reporting period between May 19 and June 30, Carbajal, a three-term county supervisor, raised $279,153, bringing his total to $2.16 million. Fareed, now making his second bid for Congress and running as the anti-career politician, reported raising $117,620, bringing his total to $1.25 million. Fareed, 27, made it to the November election by upsetting Republican frontrunner Katcho Achadjian, a three-term California assemblymember and three-term county supervisor from San Luis Obispo.
“We’re not surprised Salud has raised the money he’s raised; he’s the establishment candidate,” said Fareed spokesperson Christiana Purves. “We’re building a grassroots movement and enlisting support wherever we can.” (None of these financial numbers reflect money spent by PACs, super PACs, and independent expenditure committees on behalf of either candidate.)
According to Fareed’s poll, Fareed garnered favorable ratings among 41 percent of the 350 respondents and unfavorable from 23 percent. Carbajal’s favorable-unfavorable ratings were 43 and 28 percent, respectively. Of the two polls, Carbajal’s most closely mirrors the election results from this June’s primary; in that election — with nine candidates vying to replace nine-term Congressmember Lois Capps — Carbajal secured 31.9 percent of the vote, and Fareed took 20.5 percent. The Democratic poll also showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican Donald Trump by 15 points.