Poll: Sestak Posts Big Gains In PA-SEN

A new poll from PPP (D) shows Democrat Joe Sestak has closed a huge gap in the Pennsylvania Senate race and now runs one point ahead of Republican nominee Pat Toomey. The poll shows Sestak ahead 46-45.

In the last PPP poll of the race, conducted in mid-August, Toomey led 45-36. While much of the national attention has been focused elsewhere — *cough* Delaware *cough* — Sestak appears to have been slowly building on his surprise primary win to give Toomey a run for his money.

“Three things have happened in the last 2 months to move this race back to toss up status,” the pollster writes. “Sestak has made up a large deficit with independents, he’s consolidated his base, and Democratic interest in the election has picked up with election day moving closer.”The shift in independents could spell doom for Toomey’s campaign. The ultra-conservative Republican has been relying on dissatisfaction with the economy to turn Pennsylvania’s swingy electorate his way — now it seems, that plan has run aground (in one poll, at least.)

“Toomey held a commanding lead with independents, 50-23,” the pollster writes, referring to the August PPP poll. “Sestak has picked up the support of virtually all of the undecided independents and has pulled into a virtual tie with Toomey with that voting group, trailing now only 49-48.”

Still most polls still show Sestak in a hole heading into the campaign’s final weeks. The TPM Poll Average shows Toomey ahead 47.0-42.8.

The race is probably one of the most polled of the cycle, however, and trendlines show that the narrowing gap seen in the PPP poll is no fluke.