Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race tightening?

    Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are (from left)Joe Sestak

    Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are (from left)Joe Sestak

    With less than a week to go, there are signs Katie McGinty is gaining on Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

    A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found McGinty, the former state environmental secretary, tied with Sestak, the retired admiral and former congressman, at 39 percent each.

    Braddock Mayor John Fetterman got just 4 percent in that poll, with 18 percent undecided.That survey was taken Sunday through Tuesday.

    A new Franklin & Marshall poll shows Sestak with a 9-point lead over McGinty, 38 to 29 percent, with Fetterman at 8 percent and 23 percent undecided.

    It’s worth noting that the Franklin & Marshall survey was conducted over a longer period, April 9-18.

    As I wrote recently, McGinty and the outside groups supporting her are outspending the Sestak team on TV ads by a huge margin in the last two weeks of the campaign. You could argue that both surveys are accurate, and the Monmouth poll is capturing more of the effect of the pro-McGinty ad blitz.

    And for what it’s worth, the McGinty campaign said in a fundraising appeal that its internal polling finds McGinty ahead of Sestak by three points, 37 to 34 percent, with 13 percent for Fetterman and 16 percent undecided.

    The polling firm, Garin-Hart-Yang, is reputable, but I’m always hesitant to put much stock in a campaign poll when the entire survey isn’t available for review, and this one isn’t.

    Sestak started with a lead in the race from his name recognition and travels through the state.

    McGinty got lots of party and union endorsements, and some serious money from the national Democratic party and the feminist, pro-abortion rights group Emily’s List.

    Sestak won the endorsements of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. McGinty got the Philadelphia Daily News. Fetterman got the nod of the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

    Kinda looking like we could have some real suspense election night.

    See them all — and the new guy

    If you’re just beginning to focus on the race, you can see the candidates thinking on their feet in a League of Women Voters debate Sunday at 11 a.m. on Channel 6.

    And there will be a fourth candidate in the mix — Joe Vodvarka, who was just restored to the ballot this week by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

    Sestak had challenged Vodvarka’s nomination petitions, and the Commonwealth Court had ordered him removed from the ballot.

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