Tisei Team Takes Heat Over Poll That Shows Him Up by 7 Points

A GOP poll that showed Richard Tisei in the lead in the Sixth District Congressional race may have not been what it seemed, according to Team Tierney.

Republican Congressional candidate Richard Tisei released polling results to the media this week that showed over incumbent Congressman John Tierney, D-Salem.

Tierney and Tisei, of Wakefield, are both seeking the Sixth Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives currently held by Tierney. The district includes Hamilton and Wenham, plus most of the North Shore.

The polling data in the latest poll, compiled by GOP pollster John McLaughlin, may not be accurate.

As it turns out, the poll dramatically over-represents Republicans. The same poll had Sen. Scott Brown with a 24-point lead over Elizabeth Warren (in most other polls statewide those two are in a statistical tie). Blue Mass Group took to Twitter with their suspicions.

Then McLaughlin himself reportedly admitted to the Salem News that his poll over-represents Republicans and under-represents Democrats and independents.

Tisei’s pollster admitted in an interview published today that Tisei’s poll over represents Republicans and under represents Democrats. The poll comes close to doubling the Republican representation in the district. In the poll's scenario, Republican turnout would have to be more than 150 percent.

“This is a very misleading trick by a very desperate campaign,” said Tierney Campaign Manager Matt Robison. “Maybe the Tisei campaign has been taking accounting lessons from their Wall Street friends at JP Morgan."

But the real lesson of this story is to always beware of internal polls (those produced by the campaigns), especially this early in the game when campaigns are trying to build momentum. The poll that showed Teirney with a 15-point lead over Tisei in January was done by a Democratic pollster. It was also taken when Bill Hudak was a candidate, splitting the Republican race.

A blogger named David at Blue Mass Group shares these words of wisdom cautioning the media to be wary of internal polling data:

"This Tisei poll is so embarrassing that his campaign should try to get its money back, but even in general, internals just not reliable enough to justify the pixels."

UPDATE: Tisei noted that the poll had an accurate sample of independents and often independents polled will self-identify as Republican, and he defended McLaughlin's strong reputation in the polling field. But Tisei also said he isn't getting bogged down in polling data anyway.

"As I go around the district, there are a great amount of people who want change," Tisei said. "I'm not going concentrate on polls, I can feel what's happening. We're very comfortable and confident in where we are right now."

Anne Sweeney May 19, 2012 at 01:46 AM
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters are at least somewhat angry at the current policies of the federal government, including 37% who are Very Angry. Thirty-one percent (31%) don’t share that anger, with 10% who are Not At All Angry. Whether this translates into more support for the current Congressional Incumbent John Tierney, remains to be seen. On the other hand, voting for Challenger Richard Tisei. What we should be asking is, if a Republican Congressman from Massachusetts could do more for the taxpayers of the Sixth District. To fund schools, infrastructure shovel ready projects, General Electric Contracts which translate into more jobs, Senior Citizens, Local aid to Schools, Teachers, Fire, Police and so on ? If there is a Democrat in the White House ? Do we vote for Richard Tisei on the basis that he is not an incumbent. Does throwing out the baby with the bath water make any sense ? Would a new Freshman Republican Congressman from the Sixth District, hit the ground running, maintaining all the connections, aid from Washington for our district now in play, hold onto all the gains for our district made by the current incumbent ? Would President Obama be attentive to a Democratic Congressman from the sixth district appealing for aid and projects, jobs and viability grants? Would President Obama be just as attentive to a new Freshman Republican ? Experience over on the job learning. Ted Kennedy VS Romney ?
Anne Sweeney May 19, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Let's face the facts people, voting for Richard Tisei for Congress in the Sixth District would be like voting for The Grinch. I would much rather vote for our incumbent "Santa" John Tierney, over the Grinch every time ! I prefer goodies, more money for schools, jobs and local funding in the Sixth Congressional Stocking from Washington over Coal any day.


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