SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams narrowly leads Republican Rep. Mia Love in the 4th Congressional District race for the first time, according to a new internal poll released by his campaign Friday.
The poll showed McAdams ahead 47 percent to 46 percent for Love. Previous polls have had McAdams trailing the two-term congresswoman, but within the margin of error, making the race too close to call.
The Mellman Group, a Democratic pollster based in Washington, D.C., said it surveyed 400 likely voters in the 4th District Oct. 7-10 and that the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
The poll follows a ratings change by the respected Cook Political Report, from lean Republican to toss-up. RealClearPolitics.com has also rated the race a toss-up, although other rating entities still favor the Republican incumbent.
McAdams' campaign manager, Andrew Roberts, credited the mayor's record of putting "people before party" for the shift in polling.
"Voters appreciate Ben's bipartisan message and are deeply concerned by the dysfunction they see in Washington, which is why he's taken a lead in the polls and why we're confident he'll win on Election Day," Roberts said.
Love's internal pollster, Scott Riding, questioned the transparency of the poll.
"We have no details," he said. "All they give us is, 'We say we're up by one and trust us.'"
Riding said the Love campaign was not releasing its own polling right now, but the McAdams poll "does not match our internal numbers." He said the dynamics of the race haven't changed and the campaign is confident with its trajectory.
An analysis by The Mellman Group released by McAdams' campaign concluded, "Already surging in the lead against a better-known incumbent, Mayor McAdams is well-positioned to win this race."
McAdams and Love will square off Monday in a Utah Debate Commission debate.