Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell and one of his Republican opponents are both touting a new poll for the Kissell campaign.
The poll shows Kissell leading each of three Republican candidates in the 8th District race. He led Richard Hudson, who pollsters Zac McCrary and John Anzalone called the "perceived Republican frontrunner," 46 percent to 36 percent.
The pollsters also tested Kissell against GOP candidates Fred Steen and John Whitley, though didn't release numbers in those matchups. They didn't test him against Republicans Vernon Robinson or Scott Keadle, or against Democratic rival Marcus Williams.
Hudson called Kissell's showing "weak."
"What this demonstrates is that I am the Republican the Democrats fear most and I am the one who can beat Larry Kissell," he said in a statement. "Kissell recognizes me as the Republican frontrunner and his own poll shows me holding him under 50 percent before we have even begun to hold him accountable for his liberal .... voting record."
Lauren Slepian, a spokeswoman for Keadle, chose to put her own spin on the results.
"What this demonstrates is that Scott Keadle and Vernon are kicking Kissell's backside," she said, "and Kissell is trying to show that he can beat the weak guys in the field."
Christopher Schuler said Hudson's "trying to do a good job spinning it his way but the numbers speak for themselves."