A new poll in the Joe Kennedy 4th congressional race in Massachusetts shows the contest tightening with Republican contender Sean Bielat jumping twenty points to close the gap to 12 points behind Kennedy.

The poll, taken by conservative pollster On Message, showed that Kennedy, son of former Congressman Joe Junior and grandson of Robert Kennedy still had a handsome lead but that the gap had narrowed from the complete blow out of 60 to 28 percent that a Boston Herald poll showed in February.

Kennedy told The Herald he was not worried about any new poll.

“I’m just not focused on polls at all ... we’re focused on getting out around the district. We’ve done over 80 events across the district since the campaign started. We’re really focused on just getting out and meeting people, and that part’s been great, and we’re looking forward to doing more.”

Bielatt stated that Kennedy’s “name is his only commodity and that the new poll showed he was “more of a man and less of a myth.”

“The Kennedy name has high recognition in the district, but there has been a sharp deterioration in Kennedy numbers,” said Bielat,

“I can’t see how he does anything but go down from here as he becomes more of a man and less of a myth.”

Kennedy stated he would do nothing different.

“I’m looking forward to getting the chance to continue what we’ve been doing — just getting out across the district and meeting people. Meeting them on the street corners, I’ve been invited into their homes, kitchens, having cups of coffee, sitting down with them, getting to know what their real concerns are. And I think that’s what a campaign’s all about, and we’re doing it.”

John C. Berg, a political science professor at Suffolk University, said Bielat still has a tough job.

“The one thing about Joe Kennedy is he’s known — he’s going to start out strong. Bielat should be able to make up some, but whether that means he can keep on doing that and get the majority is another question,” said Berg.

Kennedy and Bielat,  are running to replace the retiring Barney Frank in the redrawn Fourth Congressional  district.

Joe Kennedy III