A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows Pennsylvania Senate candidates Pat Toomey (a former Republican congressman and derivatives pioneer) and Joe Sestak (a former admiral and current Democratic congressman) in a statistical tie. Along with most observers, I thought this one was finished—polling guru Nate Silver gives Toomey a 94 percent chance of winning the seat.
The bad news for Democrats is that Silver’s probably right. Almost all public polling of this race has shown Toomey ahead—which suggests the PPP poll is an outlier. But who knows. The media was fixated on Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle early in the election cycle. Maybe now that Pennsylvania Democrats are paying attention, they’re becoming more familiar with Toomey’s twice-as-conservative-as-Rick-Santorum record. In a state like Pennsylvania, where the Dems have a massive registration advantage, that could be enough to save Sestak. But if Sestak can pull off a comeback, it will mark a remarkable string of political success for him—first coming back in the polls to beat incumbent GOPer-turned-Dem Arlen Specter in the primary, and then coming back to beat Toomey. The White House backed Specter in the primary, but I’m sure they like the sound of that.