New Poll Shows Sestak-Toomey Senate Race A 'Dead Heat'

Pat Toomey (left) and Joe Sestak shake hands before a debate that became far less friendly.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning shows the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey to be a "statistical dead heat," with 48 percent of likely voters supporting Toomey and 46 percent with Sestak.  This follows a recent trend of polls showing the race narrowing with less than two weeks until the Nov. 2 general election.  A Sept. 22 Quinnipiac Poll showed Toomey with a 7 point lead among likely voters.

While Toomey, a Lehigh Valley Republican, maintains a strong lead, 56-35 percent, among likely independent voters, the poll also found that Democratic voters who had been considered apathetic this election season are starting to get energized about Sestak, a Delaware County Democrat.

"Pennsylvania is a blue state and Democrats there have begun to come home," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "They are more engaged than they were earlier in the race. This is not unusual, especially in off-year elections. Democrats often engage later in the campaign than do Republicans."

The poll comes after Sestak and Toomey met last night in a contentious debate, where both candidates called the other "extreme" and dishonest.  You can read the poll here.