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Duncan Hunter hurdle disclosed

December 5, 2007 | 12:43 pm

Rep. Duncan Hunter may take heart, we suppose, that he's moving in the right direction -- the new L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll found that among likely Republican voters nationwide, support for his little-noticed presidential campaign has gone from 2% in October to 3% now. Of course, taking into account the plus-or-minus sampling error of 5 percentage points, he could just be treading water in a shallow pond.

And even if there's the slightest of positive trends for Hunter, the survey seems to show that his numerous political handicaps include a pronounced gender gap.

Among male respondents who intend to vote in a GOP primary or caucus (a group that includes independents and a few stray Democrats), 4% were for him; among females, zip, nada, zero. Among actual party members, the chasm is even greater: He can claim 6% support from Republican men, 0% from women.

With a paltry campaign treasury and limited name recognition outside his House district in San Diego County, Hunter gets his main exposure during the periodic candidate debates. That may be part of his problem. As he rails against the U.S. trade deficit, recounts his efforts to combat illegal immigration and touts his expertise on defense issues, it is Hunter's nature to glower.

We don't expect that to change. But he might consider earth tones for his wardrobe.

Other -- more pertinent data -- from the new poll can be perused here.

-- Don Frederick

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