Republican Bill Hudak's campaign released parts of an internal poll yesterday showing the Boxford attorney leading Democratic Congressman John Tierney by one point among Independent voters.
But the campaign declined to make the entire poll public, releasing only the results of a limited number of highly specific questions. The Tierney camp in a statement dismissed the data, claiming Hudak was "fabricating a dream scenario."
Nonetheless, Hudak trumpeted the poll results as evidence that his campaign is gaining ground over the incumbent Tierney with about five weeks until Election Day.
"I've been campaigning for 15 months solid, 15 hours a day," Hudak said. "We've been doing everything according to plan. ... We're right on target."
The poll shows Hudak with a 41 to 40 percent lead over Tierney among Independent voters. Hudak trails Tierney, 46 to 39 percent, among a group defined as "high interest likely voters."
Callers were also asked whether Tierney has performed his job as congressman well enough to deserve re-election or "if it's time for change and a new person to be elected." About 38 percent of respondents said "new person," another 38 percent "would probably re-elect Tierney," and 23 percent remained undecided.
Some 59 percent said the country has "pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track," while 30 percent said the country was going in the right direction. About 11 percent had no opinion.
Among the "wrong track voters," Hudak led Tierney 51 to 29 percent.
The poll surveyed 400 likely voters, though Hudak could not say what the breakdown of Democrats, Republicans and Independents was. It was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm.
Hudak refused to release the entire poll or the wording of some of the questions, raising the issue of whether the campaign was handpicking which numbers to publicize.
But Hudak said publishing all the data would reveal the campaign's long-term tactics.