Democrat Joe Sestak has clawed his way into a statistical tie with Republican Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania Senate race, according to two new internal Democratic polls.
Toomey was leading Sestak 46 percent to 45 percent among likely voters in a poll conducted for Sestak's campaign by David Petts, of the Washington firm Bennett, Petts and Normington, and obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The survey of 800 likely voters was conducted Oct. 4-6, and results were subject to a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Also, a poll conducted for the Democratic Senatatorial Campaign Committee by Garin-Hart-Yang over the last week showed Sestak leading Toomey 44 percent to 42 percent. When "leaners" were pushed to make a choice, Sestak went up 47 percent to 44 percent. The poll was based on 606 likely voters.
The majority of public polls taken in the past couple of months,however, have found the Republican leading the race for the seat of Sen. Arlen Specter (D.,Pa.).
Democratic strategists believe a blizzard of ads pounding Toomey have begun to take effect. DSCC began airing ads in Pennsylvania Aug. 13, and since has spent millions on spots that paint Toomey as a former Wall Street insider and hit him for support of trade deals with China that have cost the U.S. jobs.
DSCC's Republican counterpart certainly is acting as though numbers are moving in this race.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched its first ad on behalf of Toomey Wednesday. Entitled "interview," it shows footage of Sestak, a Democratic congressman, saying he supported a bigger stimulus, a public health-care option and the so-called cap-and-trade energy bill.
"There's left, there's far left...and there's Joe Sestak," the narrator concludes.