A new poll released by Rep. Brad Sherman’s (D - Sherman Oaks) campaign shows him far ahead of his fellow Democrat and rival in the 30th district, Rep. Howard Berman (D - Van Nuys). The poll also suggests that Berman and Sherman will advance from the June 5 primary to face off again in November’s general election.
In a poll taken last month, 52 percent of voters chose Sherman in a head-to-head race, with Berman getting 25 percent, and the remaining 23 percent of voters undecided. In the release of the results, Sherman’s pollster, Diane Feldman, pointed out that this margin is effectively identical to the results of a similar poll conducted for Sherman’s campaign in August 2011, in which 51 percent of voters chose Sherman and 26 percent chose Berman.
More immediately relevant, however, is the second set of results released in the new poll.
Back in August 2011, when Feldman asked voters about a three-way race between Sherman, Berman and Republican Mark Reed, Sherman won 42 percent of votes, Reed came in second with 26 percent and Berman came in third with 17 percent.
But under new California election law, all voters are allowed to vote in the June 5 primary, regardless of party registration, and they will be able to choose from a wide variety of candidates from multiple parties. Seven candidates will appear on the ballot in this new open-primary, and with three Republicans running—Reed, writer Susan Shelley, and businessman Navraj Singh—the top-two are Sherman-Berman.
That result would pave the way for a Berman v. Sherman general election in November.
In an email announcing the poll results, Sherman’s newly hired PR guy, former journalist John Schwada, downplayed in advance the upcoming release of recent campaign fundraising and spending data, scheduled to be released on April 15.
“The Sherman campaign has elected to save its campaign resources for the November general election,” Schwada wrote.
The Sherman-sponsored poll of 500 likely voters in California’s new 30th Congressional district was conducted between March 26-28 The Feldman Group, Inc. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Here are the results:
Head to head:
Brad Sherman, Democrat 51% (52 % in August 2011)
Howard Berman, Democrat 26% (25% in August 2011)
Undecided 23% (23% in August 2011)
Full field for the June primary (all numbers from March 2012 poll):
Democrat Brad Sherman 40%
Democrat Howard Berman 17%
Democrat Vince Gilmore 1%
Republican Mark Reed 12%
Republican Susan Shelley 5%
Republican Navraj Singh 4%
Green Party member Michael Powelson 2%