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October 2, 2012

Tierney or Tisei? 2 independent polls differ widely

Political polls aren’t much different than New England’s autumn weather: if you don’t like the climate out there, wait a few minutes.

This week, the polling pendulum swung decidedly toward Republican Richard Tisei, in a poll released by The Boston Globe.

The poll — conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center Sept. 21 through Sept. 27 — found Tisei with a 37 percent to 31 percent lead over Congressman John Tierney, with 30 percent still undecided. That’s a whopping 13-point swing over just 17 days.

Just two weeks earlier, a Mass Inc. poll, conducted Sept. 8 through Sept. 10, had Tierney ahead by 7 points among likely voters — 39 percent for Tierney, 32 percent for Tisei, with 22 percent undecided.

“I feel very confident. I’m out everywhere, meeting thousands of people every week, and I think a lot of people feel it’s time for a change,” Tisei said, speaking from a campaign stop at the Topsfield Fair’s Senior Citizen Day. “The trend is definitely in my direction.”

A recent poll conducted by Young Guns Action Fund, a pro-Republican super PAC, also found Tisei with an eight-point lead — but the internal Republican poll numbers seem a bit dubious, considering it also had President Obama and Mitt Romney in a dead heat in Massachusetts, and Sen. Scott Brown trouncing Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren by 12 — at odds with nearly every poll in the nation.

In addition to his own grassroots campaigning, Tisei credited Tierney’s campaign strategy for his poll boost, citing the eight-term incumbent’s television ad that tries to paint to moderate Tisei as a Tea Party radical.

“People have made a determination on John Tierney,” Tisei said. “The fact that he has run such a negative and dishonest campaign painting me as an extremist — a lot of people have rejected that.”

Tierney, speaking on a conference call with reporters yesterday, said the Globe poll “has obvious glaring deficiencies.”

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