Tom Smith will arrive at Republican State Committee Friday with a head of steam. Another poll has shown the U.S. Senate hopeful closing the gap with Bob Casey.
A poll from the Allentown Morning Call and Muhlenberg College has Casey ahead of Smith by 8 points, 44 percent to 36 percent. That’s 4 points closer than their survey from 10 days ago, which had Smith trailing 45 percent to 33 percent.
It’s the latest of four polls released within the past week that show the race in single digits (Casey had lead Smith by margins in the mid to high teens for months). Casey now leads Smith by 9.8 percent according to the Real Clear Politics polling average – which doesn’t yet include this survey.
Casey, a freshman Democrat, is still better known and better liked than Smith, a former coal company owner. Both have been on television for weeks.
Realistically, with both candidates on the air, it was inevitable that the race would close. However, that he is showing nearly universal improvement means Smith is getting noticed.
The Washington Post changed its prediction of the race from “solid Democrat” to “lean Democrat” this week, and Smith Thursday appeared on the nationally syndicated Mark Levin show. You can listen to that interview here.
Today, Smith picked up the endorsement of former Governor Tom Ridge. Ridge, a moderate, was himself talked about as a possible challenger to Casey.
“Tom Smith’s detailed plan to ‘Restore the American Dream’ offers the common sense solutions necessary to grow our economy, as he believes that hard-working Americans will pave our road to prosperity,” Ridge said in a release. “I am pleased to endorse Tom Smith as our next United States Senator and invite all Pennsylvanians to join me.”
“I’m humbled to have the support of one of our state’s most steadfast, results-oriented leaders, Governor Ridge,” said Tom Smith. “Gov. Ridge’s experience in the private and public sectors are inspiring.”
Sen. Pat Toomey also chimed in with a fundraising email to supporters on Smith’s behalf.
The Morning Call/Muhlenberg poll’s sample size and methodology have not yet been announced; the paper will do so in its print edition over the weekend. PoliticsPA will update this post when that information becomes available.
The pollster surveyed 427 likely voters from Sept. 22-26. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent.