WASHINGTON -- A new poll shows Sen. Pat Toomey (R. Pa.) with a significant lead over Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, in contrast to other surveys that have shown the race virtually even.
The Emerson College Poll released Monday found Toomey winning 46 percent support among likely Pennsylvania voters, against 39 percent for McGinty, the first bit of good polling news the incumbent has seen in weeks.
Other public polls and political operatives have painted a different picture. Three surveys earlier in August -- by Quinnipiac, Franklin & Marshall and Susquehanna Polling -- found either a statistical tie or a slight edge for McGinty. Operatives in both parties said earlier this month that internal polls showed similar results, setting up a heated final two months of the race.
McGinty, Gov. Wolf's former chief of staff, had gained ground in those earlier surveys as GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump plummeted in Pennsylvania, worrying Republicans about his effect on incumbents such as Toomey.
The Pennsylvania contest is one of a handful of races likely to determine control of the Senate.
Emerson surveyed 800 likely voters from Aug. 25 to 28. The poll has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. It contacted voters by landline only -- which can skew results by excluding people who rely on cell phones.
McGinty's campaign cited the contrasting surveys showing her with a lead.
"Poll after poll has showed that the Trump-Toomey ticket is a losing one in Pennsylvania," said her spokesman, Sean Coit. "Pat Toomey is way, way out of the the mainstream in Pennsylvania, and he's going to lose his job because of it."
UPDATE: Toomey campaign spokesman Ted Kwong said the poll shows that "Pennsylvania voters are learning how out of touch Katie McGinty's far-left policies are, whether it's allowing dangerous sanctuary cities, supporting the reckless Iran deal, or pushing for one of the largest middle-class tax hikes in Pennsylvania history last year."