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Berman: ‘If elites voted, I would win overwhelmingly’

Time magazine has a good overview of the heated intra-party battle between Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman.

There’s this passage:

Berman is a key foreign policy player who has sponsored far more legislation in his career (he accuses Sherman of having only sponsored three bills in his entire career, “and two were renaming post offices.”) “Brad is very much in love with being a Congressman. I love the job. It’s not the title,” Berman said in his campaign office, which features a mocking cartoon of Sherman spouting all his rehearsed lines. “If elites voted, I would win overwhelmingly.” He qualifies elites to mean his Congressional colleagues–with no [Republican] candidate in the race, Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham have backed Berman–but he also has been endorsed by the L.A. Times and the Valleys’ Daily News, and has had fundraisers hosted by Jeffery Katzenberg, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg. Betty White, along with Wendy Malick, appear in an ad for Berman, endorsing him for the good work he’s done for pets.

Berman has tried to capitalize on his overwhelming support among his fellow members of Congress, but the "if elites voted" statement — even though he qualified it — would seem like fodder for Sherman, who has billed himself as the people’s candidate.

Indeed, Sherman has tried to turn Berman’s support among Hollywood machers into a liability in the San Fernando Valley congressional district. As Sherman told the Forward: “Everybody in Beverly Hills is convinced I’m going to lose this race, and everybody in Reseda knows I’m going to win.”

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Berman’s "elite" support versus Sherman’s grassroots strength has been an ongoing theme of the race, as Politico noted in May.

Supported by "elites" or not, both candidates have had money to spend. Combined their campaigns had gone through  $10.3 million through October 17, with another $3 million spent by outside groups.

The race has gotten more than a bit ugly, with things getting a little physical at one debate and a pro-Sherman Super PAC sending mailers to local Republican voters bashing some of Berman’s Democratic backers.

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