PA Senate race turning into a dead-heat barnburner [Updated]

[Update: 10/22/10 6:42 PM EDT: Rasmussen moves race from Solid Republican to Toss-up in just two weeks

More confirmatory evidence of that the Toomey-Sestak race is now essentially a dead-heat comes from Rasmussen today, showing an unfavorable trend line: an increase in support for Sestak while Toomey maintains the same level of support, indicating a break in undecideds towards Sestak. Toomey 48% Sestak 44%, 7% undecided. Polling taken last night (10/21, one night after first of two debates).

The stakes are thus very high going into tonight’s second and last debate between the two candidates. Key sections from Rasmussen:

Republican Pat Toomey now holds just a four-point lead over Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak in the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania. It’s the closest the contest has been since May…

The race now moves from Solid Republican to a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings. Less than two weeks ago, Toomey held a 10-point lead, 49% to 39%. The tightening of the race comes from an increase in support for Sestak while Toomey’s support remains steady.

Thank you to Southpaw75 for the heads-up.

End Update]

I would normally discount Politico except that this excerpt is from an e-mail message sent out to an e-mail distribution list from this individual, who’s a significant PA Republican player.

I’ve seen Neil question the other polling agencies. Nonetheless, the Toomey camp must be getting rather anxious as Pat Toomey’s early lead has evaporated.

The Politico article indicates that the Democratic money and ad buys have turned this race into a very tight effort whose outcome will surely rest on GOTV. As we know, the Democrats have all sorts of dead voters and ACORN-type fraud in the urban areas as a cushion, so our side is going to have to work even harder to overcome this handicap.

Folks, this has become a serious contest and a major test of wills. PA is a bellweather state, so these are the races we need to win or we’ll hear all sorts of refrains about how conservative Republicans can’t win.

Again, GOTV will be vital.

E-mail message follows including links:

As expected the race is tightening as the Democrats attempt to smear Pat Toomey as a right wing radical extremist religious fanatic

Barnburner: Pa. Senate is latest dead heat – Dan Hirschhorn – POLITICO.com A Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday confirmed what Democrats have been arguing for months: The Keystone State’s Senate race is as competitive as any other in the country. For Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak, the 1-point edge over Pat Toomey marks a stark turnaround — one that is echoed by internal polls from both parties — and further evidence that the Navy man twice considered dead in the water this year has again pulled himself back onto the boat.

See also Muhlenberg Poll Sestak 44 Toomey 41 with 15% undecided.