The Democratic resurgence in Pennsylvania isn't limited to Joe Sestak. PPP's new poll of the Governor's race finds Dan Onorato pulling to within 2 points of Tom Corbett, 48-46.
The reasons for Onorato's improved standing are the same as Sestak's:
1) The likely electorate for this fall is trending in a more Democratic direction. When PPP found Corbett ahead by 13 points in mid-August those planning to vote this fall in Pennsylvania reported having voted for John McCain by a 1 point margin in 2008. Now the likely electorate supported Barack Obama by 4 points, still a drop from his actual 10 point win but at least an indication that the party's voters are picking up their level of enagement.
2) Democratic voters are getting more unified around Onorato. He's seen his support from within his party jump 13 points over the last couple months from 62% to 75%. Corbett's also seen a gain in his party support across that period of time but it hasn't been quite as large, from 74% to 82%.
3) Independents are now splitting pretty evenly. In August Corbett had a commanding 52-20 lead with them. Now it's just 48-46.
Despite the Onorato surge this poll can also be seen as encouraging for Corbett. He hasn't lost any support from his 48% standing in August and the undecideds in this race are exceedingly low at just 6%. So Corbett doesn't have to pick up much more support to get over 50%.
This is a most unusual race for this fractured political climate in that Pennsylvania voters like both Corbett and Onorato. Corbett has a 47/34 favorability rating and is seen positively by even 25% of Democrats. Onorato's favorability is 45/39. Both Gubernatorial candidates are more popular than either of the Senate candidates.
Corbett's lead persists because he's getting 18% of the Democratic vote while Onorato is winning only 12% of Republicans. Ed Rendell's unpopularity is not doing Onorato any favors. 54% of voters disapprove of him as he prepares to leave office and 70% of the Democrats who are planning to vote for Corbett are displeased with the job Rendell is doing.
Corbett remains the favorite but this race at least looks like it will end up being a lot closer than it was over the summer.
Full results here