All eyes are on the special election in Georgia’s sixth Congressional district, recently vacated by former Rep. Tom Price who left the district to serve as HHS Secretary.

Democrat Jon Ossoff will face off against Republican Karen Handel in the June 20th runoff election.

Internal polling released Tuesday shows the race in a dead heat, meaning the race probably isn’t quite so close as the poll indicates.

In all of my years of following and blogging about elections, I learned one crucial lesson about internal polls — anytime a campaign publishes internal polling showing they’re ahead, they’re most certainly not leading. But it helps to drum up headlines, create the appearance the race is closer than it actually is, and drive donations.

Anzalone Liszt Grove, a Democrat firm conducted the poll which found Ossoff ahead of Handel with 48% to 47% and 5% of voters undecided.

The crosstabs (where all the good information like they types of questions they ask) were not published. Further, the sample size was horrendously small, with only 590 people surveyed. The margin of error was also listed at 4%.

All of that to say, this is a PR-motivated poll, not a solid data set. Ossoff’s campaign claims the poll shows he’s winning:

Ossoff campaign manager Keenan Pontoni said it shows the 30-year-old Democrat, until a few months ago scarcely known in the district, is “winning” thanks to on-the-ground enthusiasm.

“Four months ago, nobody expected us to even break 40 percent,” said Pontoni. “Now, after our historic first-place finish on April 18th and this encouraging poll, we’re seeing the results of our community’s massive outreach efforts, and with our plans to ramp up those efforts even more, our campaign is well-positioned to win on June 20th.”

More telling than the publishing of an internal poll? Ossoff hasn’t grabbed any additional polling points since the April 18th election. That’s not a good sign for the Ossoff camp. Not a good sign at all.

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