September 21, 2012 | 12:02 pm
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
With less than two months until Election Day and only three weeks before early voting begins, Rep. Brad Sherman is still polling well ahead of Rep. Howard Berman.
According to a poll conducted earlier this week for KABC and first reported on Sept. 20, 45 percent of voters would cast ballots for Sherman, as compared to 32 percent who said they’d go for Berman.
Nearly a quarter of voters – 23 percent -- still hadn’t decided between the two Jewish Democrats, who were thrown into the same district by last year’s redistricting process.
The poll, conducted by hyper-local polling firm SurveyUSA, surveyed 628 likely voters in the new 30th Congressional district in the West San Fernando Valley and found that although both candidates are well-liked, Sherman is seen as more focused on the needs of Valley residents than Berman is, and is considered to be a more effective legislator by voters.
That latter finding is bound to rankle the Berman campaign, which has been working to make the case that Berman, who has been in Congress for three decades, is more effective than Sherman, who was first elected in 1996.
Sherman has been running ahead in the race for the 30th district since 2011, when it became clear that the two long-serving legislators would be running against one another. The new survey’s results appear to confirm the results of earlier polls conducted by the Sherman campaign and aren’t all that different from the results of the June primary, in which Sherman finished first with 42 percent of the vote and Berman finished second with 32 percent.
The Sherman campaign hailed the poll results as demonstrating that voters had not been persuaded by the Berman campaign, which has publicized Berman’s many endorsements by high-profile lawmakers from both parties and, in recent months, has launched a series of attacks on Sherman.
“They know Brad,” Parke Skelton, the Sherman campaign’s chief strategist, said in a statement on Friday morning. “They know he shares their Valley values and that he will make their voices heard on national issues.”
Berman recently won the endorsement of the Los Angeles Daily News editorial board, and his campaign manager Brandon Hall said that despite the poll’s results, he remained confident that the race is “very close.”
“By every measure, Howard Berman is a more effective Congressman who delivers for the Valley like no one else,” Hall wrote in an email to The Journal. “Brad Sherman’s pinnacle accomplishment is naming a post office. By Election Day, voters will understand this difference very clearly.”
In the June primary, almost one-quarter of voters chose one of a number of Republican candidates. No Republican will appear on the ballot in November, and both Berman and Sherman have been working hard to win over GOP supporters.
Republicans, according to the KABC poll, are going Sherman’s way, as are voters in every other category. Men and women as well as voters of all ages, races, income levels and party affiliations went for Sherman.
The poll also showed Sherman leading Berman among voters of all religions. Among Jewish voters, his lead was smallest, taking 43 percent to Berman’s 38 percent, a result that diverges significantly from an earlier study analyzing the primary results that found Berman “decisively” beat Sherman among Jewish voters.
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