A bit of surprisingly good news for Democrats in what has otherwise been a very bad few weeks: PPP now finds the Pennsylvania Senate race effectively tied. Democrat Joe Sestak leads Republican Pat Toomey by a single point.
PPP (PDF) (10/17-18)
Joe Sestak (D) 46
Pat Toomey (R) 45
What is helping Sestak is that he is now even with Toomey among independents, and the enthusiasm gap has closed noticeably. From Tom Jensen at PPP:
Democratic voters are getting more engaged as election day moves closer. Barack Obama won Pennsylvania by 10 points in 2008 but our August survey in the state found those planning to vote in November had actually supported John McCain by a point in 2008, suggesting a massive drop off in Democratic turnout. Now those saying they will vote next month supported Obama by 4 points in 2008. The enthusiasm gap is still there but it’s not as severe a problem for Democrats as it was 2 months ago.
This is reflected in what we have being seeing in early voting. While the GOP vote is likely to be a higher percentage of the electorate than normal, it is probably not going to be as high as the 10 percent or greater we are seeing in some pollsters’ likely voter models. If the turnout gap is slightly smaller than some have been projecting, it will be simply a pretty bad November for Democrats. . . instead of a blood bath.