In Pennsylvania, Presidential And Senate Race Tighten

Allentown Morning Call

After months of enjoying strong leads over their Republican challengers in Pennsylvania, President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey are leading their opponents by only a few points with three weeks until Election Day.

Obama is up over Mitt Romney 49 percent to 45 percent when factoring in likely voters leaning toward one candidate, according to a new survey released Monday by The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College.

While the presidential race tightening was somewhat expected, more stunning is the Senate matchup. Veteran politician Casey now leads newcomer Smith by just two points, 41 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll of 438 likely voters in the state.

As of August, in the same poll, Casey led Smith by 19. The dramatic drop off can only be attributed to Smith’s early effort on statewide television, depicting Casey as ineffective at a time when distrust in Washington is at its highest.

Rather than public campaigning, Casey has spent most of the cycle raising money to match Smith’s on air effort. His campaign announced Monday that he’d raised $1.5 million in the third quarter and has $5.2 million on hand for the final three-week push. Smith is expected to release his fundraising numbers later today

Quinnipiac University, another independent pollster, is releasing a poll of these Pennsylvania races on Tuesday. A Philadelphia Inquirer poll last week still showed Obama and Casey with healthy leads.

We’re off to cover Ann Romney in Pennsylvania this afternoon, but please check for more details on the poll.

Read more:,0,2959673.story