Poll Shows McNerney in Trouble

Posted October 13, 2010 at 1:48pm

A new poll in California’s 11th district indicates Rep. Jerry McNerney is not in good shape in his bid for a third term. The automated poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, finds Republican David Harmer ahead of the Democratic incumbent, 48 percent to 42 percent.

The poll of 624 likely voters was taken Oct. 8-11 and had a 4-point margin of error.

McNerney entered Congress in the Democratic wave year of 2006 by defeating a Republican incumbent. In this swing district — the only California district to flip since the last redistricting — Harmer appears poised to be able to do the same thing in this strong cycle for Republicans.

Both parties’ House campaign committee arms have spent independent expenditure money in the district, which is located east of the Bay Area. President George W. Bush carried the district in 2004 and President Barack Obama won it in 2008, and both garnered 54 percent of the vote.

The McNerney campaign released an internal poll Wednesday that showed the incumbent in better shape. The poll, which was conducted by Democratic firm Lake Research Partners two weeks before the SurveyUSA poll, found McNerney leading 45 percent to 35 percent. It also noted that McNerney ended the third fundraising quarter with three times as much cash on hand as Harmer. The poll of 500 likely voters was taken Sept. 21-25 and had a 4.4-point margin of error.

American Independent Party nominee David Christensen took 5 percent of the vote, which is higher than third-party candidates usually take in general elections.