Congressman John Tierney and Republican challenger Richard Tisei are deadlocked, according to a new Emerson College Polling Society survey.
Each candidate got 44% of the vote in the survey that was
conducted with 326 likely voters earlier this month. There is a
5.4% margin of error.
Tierney still has a primary race ahead of him, but the poll found Tierney has a commanding lead over the three prospective challengers.
If Tierney wins the Democratic primary, ECPS’ survey predicted another tight race for the Salem Democrat in the general election.
ECPS found that the northern portion of the Sixth Congressional District is heavily for Tisei. The areas including Beverly, Topsfield and Middleton to the New Hampshire border sided with Tisei in the survey 48% to 38%.
However, Tierney’s grip on the southern part of the district is as strong. Places like Peabody, Salem and Lynn side with Tierney 50% to 40%, according to the survey.
Tierney’s strong support in those cities played a major role in his victory over Tisei in 2012.
The two men will need to fight over the western portion of the district. ECPS showed a slight 43% to 42% edge for Tisei in that area, which includes Lynnfield, North Reading, Bedford and Billerica.
Other takeaways from the survey:
- There is a gender gap in terms of support. Women who were surveyed largely support Tierney while men largely back Tisei.
- Nearly half of those surveyed said Tierney “does not deserve to be re-elected,” but 51% expects the incumbent to win re-election.
- The most important issues in the elections are healthcare and jobs. Breaking it down by party, Democrats said jobs are the most important issue while Republicans said the deficit is the top issue.
- Fifty percent of those surveyed support a proposed ballot question that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 an hour. Thirty-eight percent do not. Along party lines, 78% of Democrats surveyed support the idea while 32% of Republicans and 37% of unenrolled voters back it.
- Sixty-eight percent of respondents support repealing an automatic state gas tax increase.
- Casino gambling remains a dividing issue. Forty-one percent of those surveyed oppose casino gambling while 40% support it. The southern part of the Sixth District, which would be closest to a possible Revere casino, largely supports casino gambling (49% to 31%).