California Rep. Brad Sherman led by 25 points in an internal poll released today and taken just after his infamous debate with fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.
The poll illustrated that the heated event apparently has had little effect on this costly Member-vs.-Member race, at least in the immediate aftermath. The poll found Sherman ahead 51 percent to 26 percent, with 24 percent undecided. That's not far from where the Sherman campaign's internal polling had the race in July.
"Among likely general election voters, Sherman remains better known and more popular in the San Fernando Valley, especially in the portion of the district that he and Congressman [Henry] Waxman represent, which encompasses three-quarters of the voters in the new district," Feldman Group pollsters Diane Feldman and Elizabeth Sena said in a memo.
The Feldman Group conducted the survey of 502 likely voters in the San Fernando Valley district on Oct. 11, 13 and 14. The poll's margin of error was 4.4 points.
In response, the Berman campaign argued that the debate has indeed had an effect on the race and touted an independent autodial poll from a Republican firm in Massachusetts that found Sherman ahead 32 percent to 26 percent. That poll was taken Saturday afternoon among 422 likely voters with a 4.7-point margin of error.
"If the Sherman campaign believes those poll numbers, they are crazier than a candidate who challenges his opponent to a physical fight in a debate," Berman senior adviser Brandon Hall said in a statement to Roll Call. "There's an independent poll out today that shows that Brad Sherman is in free fall."