Rep. Brad Sherman released a poll today showing he has a 17-point lead in the November runoff against fellow Democratic rival Howard Berman.
Sherman beat Berman by 10 points in the June primary. If he has any chance of turning that around, the more centrist Berman will have to score big with Republicans, while cutting into Sherman's margins among Democrats.
But the Sherman poll -- and of course take it with a grain of salt -- shows Sherman beating Berman even among Republicans, 41-34. If true, that's really bad for Berman.
In response, the Berman campaign did not even bother to dispute the numbers. Instead, they went on offense.
"There is a lot of chatter coming from Brad Sherman about this race being over," said Brandon Hall, Berman's strategist. "We hope he continues to buy that storyline... Brad Sherman knows the race is just beginning, and we are confident as voters learn more about Brad, his support will evaporate."
To that end, the Berman campaign on Wednesday unveiled a new website, BradShermanFacts.com, which aims to expose Sherman's 15-year record of feckless showboating.
The Berman campaign also released a leaked Sherman staff memo, in which Sherman instructs his staff to flag any bill that passes out of committee with Democratic support for his potential co-sponsorship.
The Berman site says this as evidence of "The Brad Sherman Show Horse Strategy." Sherman's consultant, Parke Skelton, responded that this was a routine and unremarkable restatement of "long-standing policy."
Below, the Sherman poll memo.