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Internal Poll: Democrat Holds Slight Lead in California House Contest

Bera is a freshman Democrat from California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

A new Democratic poll showed freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., with a slim lead over former Rep. Doug Ose, R-Calif., in the race for his Sacramento-based district.  

In a survey conducted for House Majority PAC and provided first to CQ Roll Call, Bera leads Ose, 47 percent to 43 percent. The Democrat's advantage was just inside the poll's margin of error of 4.7 points.  The two pols are facing off in competitive 7th District, which President Barack Obama carried by just 4 points in 2012. The contest is rated  Leans Democratic  by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Ose, who retired from Congress in 2005 after serving through his self-imposed term limit, advanced to the general election over two other tea party-backed Republicans in June. He ended that month  with just $204,000 in cash on hand, meanwhile Bera had amassed a $1.96 million war chest. But Ose is independently wealthy and can use those funds to support his campaign. He went up on air with a more than $1.3 million ad buy on Sacramento cable and broadcast last week, according to a source tracking buys in the district.  

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all been up with millions of television ad time, while the National Republican Congressional Committee is slated to go up on air this week, making this one of the more expensive contests of the cycle.  

Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group conducted the poll, which was paid for by the Democratic super PAC. It surveyed 406 likely voters via live telephone calls on Sept. 17 and Sept. 18.  

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