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Hall said the campaign would also be more vigilant in defending Berman’s record against attacks by the Sherman campaign, which distributed about twice as much direct mail as Berman during the primary.
“In Brad Sherman’s 16 years in Congress, he’s passed a total of three bills, and two of those are naming post offices,” Hall said. “That’s a line you’ll hear often between now and November because it really draws a contrast between these two Members of Congress, what they’ve accomplished and their effectiveness for the district.”
When asked for comment in the Capitol last week, two of Berman’s backers in the delegation — Waxman and Rep. George Miller — were unconcerned about his prospects.
“I think he’s got to let people know how effective he is and how highly regarded he is by his colleagues,” Waxman said. “The other thing is he’s got to talk about what he’s done for them, because while he’s a national and international figure, he’s done a lot for the San Fernando Valley, and people have got to know about it.”
The home page of Berman’s campaign website features testimonials from endorsers such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), actress Morgan Fairchild and California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who says Berman “knows what the hell he is doing and he can work with the other side.”
According to a Sherman campaign analysis of the primary, 35 percent of primary voters were Republican, yet only 22 percent of the vote went to the three GOP candidates. Skelton said that means more than a third of Republicans have already chosen which Democrat they support. The Redistricting Partners analysis found that Sherman won the second most GOP votes, even with three Republicans on the ballot.
While there will certainly be some outreach to Republicans, Skelton said, most of the new voters in November will be Democrats and “decline to state” voters, and the electorate will be younger and have a higher percentage of minorities — voters coming out to support President Barack Obama. He believes the percentage of the vote from Sherman’s current territory will also increase, giving Sherman an added advantage.
The second-quarter fundraising deadline is Saturday. Sherman went into the final weeks of the primary with $3 million in cash on hand after spending $1.2 million from April 1 to May 16 and $2.2 million for the entire cycle. Berman spent $1.8 million during that span — and more than $3.5 million overall — leaving him with $821,000 in mid-May.
“I think Berman is trying to figure out how to raise the money to be competitive right now,” Skelton said. “We’re just building up infrastructure to reach a broader electorate right now.”
Hall said Berman was able to spend more in the primary because of his stellar fundraising ability. Not counting interest from investments of campaign cash, which Sherman deftly benefited from, Berman has raised more than twice as much as Sherman in 2012. Since November 2010, not counting $950,000 in interest and a personal loan, Sherman has raised about $1.2 million to Berman’s $3.1 million.