Like a lot of "intelligence" coming out of Washington these days, it turns out that they were wrong.
According to a poll just released, Jerry McNerney would defeat Richard Pombo, if the general election were held today. The poll, conducted May 1-3, shows McNerney leading Pombo 46% to 42%. The poll was conducted for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund by respected polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and includes a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.
According to today's Stockton Record, well-respected Republican political analyst Allan Hoffenblum -- "who had downplayed the potential competitiveness of the race before" -- said he might have to change his mind:
"It's a sign of deep, deep trouble (for Pombo). It's not easy to get a voter to say they'd fire an incumbent," said Hoffenblum. "This could really be a horse race."
We now face the biggest challenge of our campaign. The "Washington Consensus" that Pombo is somehow unbeatable is now history. As a result, the stakes have been raised to an unprecedented level.
As I write this diary for Daily Kos, voters are receiving their absentee ballots in the mail -- and receiving our message loud and clear. With votes already being cast before the June 6th primary, we are riding a wave of great news and grassroots excitement:
- (1) According to another poll just cited by Roll Call, I am leading my primary opponent 41 to 28 percent, with 30 percent undecided. This confirms internal polling we conducted in late April showing that I have a double-digit lead that increases substantially once voters are informed about my vision to transform our district into the "Silicon Valley of renewable energy."
(2). The San Jose Mercury News just endorsed our campaign to put a permanent end to Richard Pombo's political career. The Merc is the largest newspaper in Northern California and a major opinion leader. This is the first major newspaper endorsement of a candidate in the primary and the first by a newspaper that serves readers within the 11th Congressional District.
(3) After many months of building support, we just received the most important endorsement of all in the race to win the Democratic Primary -- the California Democratic Party endorsed our campaign! It was an overwhelming victory (75%) and a strong demonstration of our campaign's support.
It's time to stand up for real Democratic values -- not Republican-lite platitudes. I had the courage to stand up to Richard Pombo as a write-in candidate in 2004 when no other Democrat was willing to hold Pombo accountable. I even mortgaged my house that year to pay for a recount of the signatures required to place my candidacy on the November ballot. And I ended up receiving more votes than any previous challenger to Pombo -- without one dime of support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Still, for the last two years, the pundits and power- brokers -- even inside our own party -- have been telling us that it was almost impossible to defeat Richard Pombo. Now they know better.
The Washington insiders did not have the courage to stand up to Richard Pombo two years ago. Can you help me stand up for real Democratic values by contributing to our campaign before Wednesday's FEC reporting deadline?
To make sure we can contact every likely voter in every precinct, we need to raise thousands of dollars in the next week. Please consider contributing $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or any amount up to the federal maximum of $2,100.
AND PLEASE ADD 11 CENTS TO THE TOTAL (for the 11th Congressional District) so we know it came from the netroots!
We would not be in this position without you -- the grassroots and netroots supporters who have contributed thousands of hours, dollars, and ideas to our growing campaign. Every time I have asked you to stand up and support me, your generosity has blown me away.
Pombo is in serious trouble and our campaign to defeat him is peaking at the perfect time. With your support, we can put an end to the era of Pombo Politics.
p.s. The stakes couldn't be higher -- there are only 26 days left until Election Day and absentee ballots are already being cast. Volunteer in CA-11 to help us get out the vote right now!
Update [2006-5-11 14:55:11 by McNerneyforCongress]: Hey folks -- thank you so much for your support! Dollars demonstrate our financial power -- the ability we'll have to efficiently and effectively contact thousands of voters in the 11th district in the closing weeks of the campaign. More importantly, however, the number of donors demonstrates our people power -- the grassroots excitement that translates directly into "feet on the street" and votes on Election Day.
Thank you! Keep it up -- we're going to need millions to take on Pombo after the primary!