Tisei edges Tierney in Emerson poll

By Dan O'Brien
June 25, 2014

The Emerson College Polling Society announced Wednesday, June 25, that the Republican challenger to Democrat John Tierney’s 6th DistrictTierney, John congressional seat has a five-point lead among likely voters (45 percent to 40 percent).

“This is extremely important to note because of how slim of a margin Tierney beat [Republican Richard] Tisei in the 2012 election,” said Matthew Mariano ’15, of the polling society.

Tisei ran against Tierney in 2012 and lost by a single percentage point. Tierney, congressman of the 6th District north of Boston since 1997, suffered a barrage of negative publicity two years ago when his wife and members of her family faced a criminal investigation.

According to a polling society press release, Tierney continues to hold a “solid lead” over his Democrat primary election challengers, but faces a tough battle against Tisei in the general election.

TiseiHowever, Tisei should proceed with caution, said Spencer Kimball, scholar-in-residence and advisor of the Emerson College Polling Society.

“Tisei should not be overly confident with these numbers,” Kimball said. “He held a seven-point lead at this juncture in 2012, only to lose by one point.”

An April poll had Tierney and Tisei tied at 44 percent.

The Emerson College Polling Society made several other observations about the race, revealing Tierney now has “an upside–down name recognition” with 51 percent of respondents in his district having an unfavorable opinion of him, compared to 38 percent favorable. Meanwhile, Tisei’s name recognition has been climbing.

Visit the Emerson College Polling Society’s website for the full results of its scientific poll.

The polling society has gained wide media attention by conducting numerous polls on political and social issues over the past two years. Recently, Emerson President Lee Pelton announced that the polling society is a recipient of the 2014 President’s Fund for Curricular Innovation, which funds select projects that are “bold and innovative” and aligned with the priorities of the College as a whole.

“One of the great things about this group is getting involved in real polling very quickly,” said Mariano, who has been a polling society member since last year. “As a resident of Massachusetts, I really enjoy working on polls that examine issues and political campaigns in the state.”

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