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WILLINGBORO, N.J. (CBS) — You know it’s November when even barbershop buzz has turned to elections.
“You don’t really get into religion, politics, things like that, but a lot of times you can’t help it,” Accents Unisex Salon owner Omar Simmons said.
Democrat Andy Kim made a campaign stop at Accents in Willingboro Thursday morning as he makes his case to unseat Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur.
“This is the district where I grew up,” Kim said. “I did my entire kindergarten through 12 here in South Jersey.”
Democrats are hoping Kim, a former national security adviser, can be part of the blue wave that flips control of the House in Congress. But Kim isn’t worried about any added pressure of a blue wave.
“I’m just focused in on this district,” he said.
Thursday afternoon, MacArthur was with constituents in Toms River for Elderfest.
He is aiming for a third term representing New Jersey’s third district, which is made up of Democrat-leaning Burlington County and Republican-leaning Ocean County.
The most recent Monmouth University poll has Kim up 48 percent to MacArthur’s 46 — a statistical dead heat.
“[Kim] is running to protest [President Donald] Trump, and that’s not gonna help the people I represent,” MacArthur said.
While the settings look quite different — Kim at a barbershop and MacArthur at a senior wellness fair — the common thread is Americans are concerned about their healthcare. Heading into next week’s election, polls show that it is the top issue for New Jersey voters.”
“They’re talking about how it affects them, the pre-existing conditions and the high cost of prescription drugs,” Kim said. “Those are the actions that I want to be able to work on.”
MacArthur, who has sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act, says he’s being mislabeled by some as anti-access to quality healthcare.
“They’re going to lose social security, they’re going to lose coverage for pre-existing conditions, those are lies,” MacArthur said. “And they’re putting millions of dollars behind those lies.”
MacArthur is also getting heat from New Jerseyans for being their only representative to support President Trump’s tax reform.
“They voted against it because it capped our state and local tax deductions,” Kim said.
MacArthur says to look at the savings from increasing standard deductions.
“You have to look at the whole tax cut bill,” he said. “People are getting tax cuts, the economy is booming.”
There’s just a few more days for voters to sort it out.
Stay with CBS for all election coverage beginning at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.