A telephone poll conducted this week for Arlington County Board Member Barbara Favola's state Senate campaign incorrectly identified her opponent, Jaime Areizaga-Soto, as a Republican.
Both are Democrats, and will square off Aug. 23 for their party's nomination in the race to succeed Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, who is retiring.
The Favola camp issued an apology late Wednesday for what it called "a clerical error."
Her campaign released the text of the erroneous question: "If the election in the Democratic Primary were held today, would you vote for Jaime Areizaga-Soto, the Republican, or Barbara Favola, the Democrat?"
Her campaign also made the following statement: "The wording of this question is obviously incorrect, and it was caused by a simple cut-and-paste, clerical error.
"When the error was brought to our attention, we immediately fixed the question.
"Any suggestion this was done as a campaign tactic is entirely incorrect. We apologize if this clerical error caused any confusion among the people who received our poll call."
The campaign refused to release the entire script of the poll, or say how many people were called for the poll.
"The poll is a campaign research tool and we are not discussing the internal dynamics of our polling," Mary Lawson, Favola's financial director, stated in an email to Patch.
Lawson later confirmed that the poll does indicate some information relayed about the candidates may be "an exaggeration." She would not confirm reports that the poll accused Areizaga-Soto of working for "developers and polluters."
The mistake has been "very costly" to the campaign, Lawson said -- not because of the monetary cost, but in terms of dealing with the fallout.
When asked if she considered the call a "push poll," Lawson said she did not.
Earlier Wednesday, the Areizaga-Soto campaign released a statement condemning "the underhanded, dishonest attacks" of the Favola campaign.
Areizaga-Soto himself has attacked Favola for accepting campaign contributions from a developer who often contributes to Republicans.
wedged Favola's picture between images of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who are both Republicans.