Poll: Sestak Gains Ground in Pennsylvania’s Senate Race

By Staff | October 20, 2010 | 11:32 AM EDT

Harrisburg, Pa. (AP) - As Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate candidates prepared to debate face-to-face Wednesday for the first time, a new poll showed Democrat Joe Sestak gaining ground on Republican Pat Toomey.

The Muhlenberg College/Allentown Morning Call poll shows the candidates about even, with Sestak supported by 44 percent of likely voters and Toomey favored by 41 percent. Fifteen percent remain undecided less than two weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

The results included voters who are leaning toward a candidate but haven't entirely made up their minds.

Two Muhlenberg polls taken between Sept. 18 and Oct. 4 showed Toomey with a slight lead - 46 percent to 39 percent.

Toomey, a former congressman from Allentown, and Sestak, who currently represents a suburban Philadelphia district in the U.S. House, are vying to succeed fifth-term Sen. Arlen Specter, whom Sestak beat in the May primary.

Wednesday night's debate is being held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

The Muhlenberg telephone poll of 403 voters who said they are likely to vote in the election was conducted during the four days ending Tuesday. The sampling error margin is plus or minus 5 percentage points.