Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Internal Poll: Tierney Holds Wide Lead in Democratic Primary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats say Massachusetts Rep. John F. Tierney is not facing a Democratic primary challenge nearly as competitive as some in the party had feared.

In an automated poll released Thursday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Tierney led veteran Seth Moulton 64 percent to 17 percent, with 20 percent undecided. The wide lead is largely a testament to Tierney’s familiarity with voters in Massachusetts’ 6th District, which he has represented for nine terms, and illustrates that Moulton remains unknown.

“In sum, Tierney’s commanding lead, combined with his strong, positive profile, signify that he is the clear choice among likely primary voters” in the district, Christina Coloroso, the DCCC’s targeting and analytics director, said in a polling memo obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The DCCC uses traditional pollsters but also utilizes in-house interactive voice response polling to spot-check races, where polling data is often sparse. The poll surveyed 402 likely Democratic primary voters March 26 and 27. The margin of error was 4.9 points.

According to the poll, 83 percent of voters were familiar with Tierney, while just 15 percent had heard of Moulton. Of the voters familiar with Tierney, 59 percent viewed him favorably.

Although the poll showed that Moulton has plenty of ground to make up, he was already approaching $400,000 in cash on hand by the end of 2013 after outraising Tierney in the third and fourth quarters. Moulton will need the money to build his name identification ahead of the Sept. 9 primary, the latest in the country.

Tierney and Moulton will compete for another five months, and the eventual nominee will likely face Republican former state Sen. Richard Tisei in November.

Last cycle, Tierney defeated Tisei by just 1 point and was outperformed by President Barack Obama by 10 points. Based in part on his slim margin of victory, Tierney made Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable members of Congress this cycle.

Massachusetts’ 6th District is rated a Leans Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Elle’s Island

    Liberals are children.

  • Matt L. Barron

    Emily, where was Marisa DeFranco in the poll? She is also running in the Dem primary?

  • View From The Left

    You’re an idiot.

  • margaret mulvihill

    Emily, I have seen shoddy work product in journalism, but your story is probably the worst I’ve ever seen. No serious journalist would publish a story without checking the facts, or without at least checking to see who is running in the Democratic primary in the 6th District!

    Scandal-plagued Tierney is running against Marisa DeFranco, and I’m sure the 20% of undecideds you quote are her voters. Tierney’s wife went to prison for him in his money-laundering scandal. He is ahead by 64%? I don’t think so.

    ‘The poll surveyed 402 likely Democratic voters on March 26 and March 27′. Are you kidding me? Emily, how many Democratic voters are there, in the 6th District? I suspect you don’t know, so here’s a start – try 180,000. Get your facts straight, Emily, and call Marisa DeFranco. She is an extraordinary candidate, and does not deserve to be disrespected by you.

  • Henry Ko

    Certainly, today’s liberalism is impelled by the same maniacal death force as its socialist, Marxist, and communist ancestors.

  • moflatley

    The methodology in this poll is deeply flawed. The National Smart People at the DCCC should wander up to Boston’s North Shore from time to time to learn what the voters up here actually want. The notion that Tierney has a big lead – esp in a race with two primary challengers – is absurd. If the party had been able to persuade him to retire – something he would likely never consider in view of his almost unbelievable narcissism – they could lock this seat in for the Dems. As it is it is fully in play with a well liked Republican in the race as well.

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