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Special Election Is Today; Tsongas Tops Final Poll

Democrat Niki Tsongas was holding onto her almost 10-point lead in the last poll published before today’s special election in the 5th district.

According to a SurveyUSA poll for WBZ-TV released Oct. 11, Tsongas was preferred by 51 percent of voters, while 42 percent said they would vote for Republican Jim Ogonowski. The automated poll included responses from 457 likely voters.

“We are so pleased to be leading in the WBZ poll with over 50 percent,” Tsongas spokeswoman Katie Elbert said in a statement. “According to details of the poll, Niki Tsongas is leading with 64 percent among women and 55 percent among seniors.”

The results are almost identical to the SurveyUSA poll released on Sept. 11.

In the final days of the campaign, both candidates and groups paying for independent expenditures have pulled out all the stops. EMILY’s List and the Service Employees International Union’s political committees have purchased ads, while Ogonowski launched a radio ad blasting Tsongas on immigration reform.

Even Connecticut Rep. Christopher Shays (R) jumped into the fray, hailing Ogonowski as the heir to Meehan/Shays legacy of 527 finance reform. Shays worked with Rep. Marty Meehan (D), who held the seat until he resigned July 1, to pass campaign finance reform.

“Jim Ogonowski is carrying on the true reform legacy of Marty Meehan and [Sen.] John McCain [R-Ariz.],” Shays said in a statement. “It seems to me Jim has led by example and made clean campaigning and honest government the hallmark of his race to replace Marty.”

Tsongas is favored to win, and if she does so, she will be the first female elected to the state’s Congressional delegation in 25 years.

— Shira Toeplitz

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