No matter what side polls the hotly contested 8th Congressional District race, it's a dead heat.
Republican Richard Hudson released an internal poll this week showing him with a one-point advantage, 38 percent to 37 percent with a quarter of voters undecided, or essentially a statistical tie. The polling memo from OnMessage, a GOP firm, did not release the poll questions or margin of error, making it difficult to gauge the authenticity of the numbers.
A week earlier, Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell released his own internal poll showing him with a four-point lead, again a tie. The margin of error on the Anzalone Liszt poll was plus-or-minus 4.4 percent, though the specifics of the poll were not disclosed, so its credibility is unclear.
Hudson's spin: "A few key takeaways from the poll: the generic Congressional ballot has a Republican advantage of 15% - 48% Republican, 33% Democrat, and 19% Undecided; the voters, by a 53% to 36% majority want a Republican in Congress to be a check and balance to President Obama and the other Democrats; if you have a hard opinion of both Kissell and Hudson (36% of the sample), Hudson leads with a 48% to 35% advantage. This is a great leading indicator and tells us that once voters learn who Richard is, they would choose him over Congressman Kissell."
Kissell's spin: "Larry Kissell is maintaining a lead over Richard Hudson, despite significant Hudson spending and earned media exposure during the recent GOP primary and runoff. Kissell's lead has endured even though he has not yet begun his paid communications plan in earnest. Kissell is not only currently ahead of Hudson, but he also shows a greater ability to expand his support than does Hudson. Given sufficient resources to introduce himself to the 8th District’s new voters and defend against Republican attacks, Kissell certainly has a real path toward a successful re-election."
The bottomline: it's a close race likely to be decided by few votes on Nov. 6.