Sherman Poll Finds Him With Early Lead Over Berman

Posted August 23, 2011 at 5:10pm

California Rep. Brad Sherman’s campaign released an internal poll Tuesday showing him in good shape in a high-profile re-election battle with fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.

Both Los Angeles-area Congressmen were drawn into the new 30th district in the San Fernando Valley, which includes portions of each of their current districts, along with a part of Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D) current territory. Neither is backing down from what’s expected to be a highly competitive face-off.

But in the new poll done for Sherman’s campaign, he led a three-way “jungle” primary against Berman and Republican businessman Mark Reed with 42 percent, followed by Reed with 26 percent and Berman with 17 percent. In a ballot test of a two-way runoff with Berman in the solidly Democratic district, Sherman got 51 percent to 24 percent for Berman.

Under California’s new law, the top two finishers in the June primary, regardless of party, face each other in a November runoff. There are expected to be several intraparty general election races next fall.

The poll, conducted by the Feldman Group, was taken Aug. 14-18 and involved 600 likely voters in the district. It carried a 4-point margin of error on the general election ballot and 5-point margin of error on the primary ballot.

A polling memo from pollster Diane Feldman stated that Berman’s “lower profile” in the area, along with Sherman’s higher favorability numbers, explain Sherman’s strong early edge.

“Sherman is simply better known and more popular in this San Fernando Valley district and voters want his visible, local style of representation,” Feldman wrote in the memo.