Candidates go head to head in race for county executive.

New Poll Shows Close Race For County Executive

October 10, 2011 Updated Oct 10, 2011 at 6:49 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 10, 2011 Updated Oct 10, 2011 at 6:49 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Republican incumbent Chris Collins and opponent Democrat Mark Poloncarz are in a tight race for the county executive seat according to the new Sienna College Research poll.

Currently, the poll shows Collins leads Poloncarz by just three points. Collins had 49 percent of the votes while Poloncarz had 46 percent. There is only a margin for error of 3.4 percent and is considered a statistical tie.

Many voters said they are happy with the way Collins has cut taxes and controlled spending in his tenure as county executive. Other said that the cuts he has made are unacceptable. One controversial topic facing Collins is the funding that he took away from the arts and cultural groups.

A Sienna Poll Spokesperson said these close numbers are surprising but the candidates have their own thoughts about the situation.

"Once we saw the heavily democratic in Lackawanna was over sampled and republic households, seniors and suburban areas were under sampled we knew this was bogus," Spokesperson for Collins Stephan Mychajliw said.

Poloncarz also commented on the issue.

"Our own polling shows this race is close -- We've been seeing this all year long so this is no surprise. It shows the people of Erie County wants change. They don't want the current administration," Poloncarz said.

The candidates are scheduled to square off in the first and only televised debate on Thursday night at 9 p.m. at the WNED studios.

Both candidates said the outcome is up to the voters in less than a month. Election day is November 8th and candidates encourage residents to come out and elect the person they believe is most suited for the job.