A CNN/Time poll shows Pat Toomey is maintaining a razor thin lead over Joe Sestak in the race to replace Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania:
Six days before the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that it’s too close to call in the fight for an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania.
According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, Republican nominee and former congressman Pat Toomey holds a 49 to 45 percent advantage over Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democrats’ nominee, among likely voters in the Keystone State, with six percent undecided or backing another candidate. Toomey’s four point margin is within the poll’s sampling error.
Other surveys out in the past few days have ranged from an eight point Toomey lead in a Franklin and Marshall survey to the two candidates dead even in a Reuters/Ipsos survey.
The CNN/Time survey indicates that Toomey leads 88 to 6 percent among Republicans and holds a 54 to 41 percent advantage among independent voters while Sestak leads 87 to 8 percent among Democrats.
Toomey’s 54-41 percent lead among independents is what will likely decide the election. With both men seeing practically identical support from their parties, and independents/moderates generally opting for Toomey, Sestak is in a tough spot.
Even if his Democrat base comes out in force on Nov. 2, he could lose the election unless he can conjure up a game-changing pitch to moderates and independents who are breaking for Toomey.
It’s a thin lead for Toomey, but in Pennsylvania, you take what you can get.
Dan Hirschhorn at Politico confirms this thinking:
But taken together, the latest polling data seemed to signal that Sestak’s surge was in large part due to solidified support among his own party, and that Toomey was still performing well with the critical bloc of independent voters.