With less than 3 weeks to go in the primary election, a new poll shows the Winograd/Harman race is competitive and may be reflecting an anti-incumbency wave.
The IVR Poll of nearly 1,000 likely voters indicates Winograd is within four points of the embattled incumbent. The poll of likely primary voters shows Congressional Candidate Marcy Winograd (CA-36) may well defeat opponent Jane Harman in the June 8th Democratic Party primary. The random poll of almost 1,000 voters shows Winograd only four points behind Harman when undecideds, who typically break two-to-one for the challenger, are factored into the equation. The poll was conducted by the Merriman River Group for the Winograd for Congress campaign.
Merriman pollster Matthew Fitch notes, “Harman’s support of 43% among likely Democratic voters can be considered weak for a long-term incumbent.” By contrast, the Merriman poll memo concludes, "...approximately 70% of all voters who have formed an opinion of Winograd are likely to vote for her." The IVR (interactive voice response) poll was conducted among a random sample of 991 likely primary voters and had a margin of error of 3.2 percent.
The Harman campaign has released the results of a much smaller poll (less than half the voters of the Merriman poll) with questionable results. “Given Winograd's previous showing of 37.5% after just 3 months of campaigning in 2006, Harman's poll strains credulity, and suggests a push poll,” says Winograd Campaign Manager Michael Jay. Jay noted that the campaign headquarters had a documented report suggesting theHarman campaign conducted a push poll, asking voters a number of leading questions, including whether they would support Winograd if they knew Winograd supported socialized medicine. The mention of socialized medicine was undoubtedly a reference, couched in Republican language, to Winograd's enthusiastic support for single-payer health care, also known as expanded Medicare.
Says Winograd, “In contast to reports of Harman's push poll, our scientific poll confirms what months of campaigning have told me, that voters in the 36th congressional district, which stretches from West LA to San Pedro, want a real Democrat representing them in Congress. These numbers prove that a non-corporate candidate can mount a strong grassroots campaign against a corrupt incumbent who recklessly takes the nation to war and votes against working families. With the country in a deep recession and waging two wars, there has never been a more important time to elect a voice for the people in Congress. We need jobs, not wars."
The Winograd campaign is gearing up for the June 8th primary election with hundreds of volunteers phone banking and walking their neighborhoods. Winograd feels confident that voters not yet familiar with her challenge will vote for her after reading her ballot statement, either in English or Spanish, in the Los Angeles County Voter Guide being mailed this week. Harman failed to submit a ballot statement to inform the voters of her platform. Says Campaign Manager Jay, "Our opponent's hubris in not outlining her platform for the voters suggests the incumbent's sense of entitlement. It's high time the 36th congressional district was represented by someone who respects the people."
Photo shows Winograd For Congress Headquartersby Linda Milazzo.