Democrat Dan Onorato had been saying that his campaign's polls showed him trailing narrowly in the Pennsylvania governor's race, not by the 10 points or even 15 points that published polls had shown.

Now comes a respected independent poll that may back up Onorato's assertion.

A survey by Franklin and Marshall College taken last week shows Onorato lagging Republican Tom Corbett by just 4 percentage points among likely voters, 36 to 32. More than one-third of likely voters - 37 percent - remain undecided, the survey found.

When the pollsters looked at all registered voters, the Corbett lead was 3 percentage points.

But with the election fast approaching Nov. 2, a large proportion of voters have not heard enough about either gubernatorial candidate to form opinions of them as people, the poll found.

The number was 45 percent for Corbett, who is state attorney general, and 43 percent for Onorato, who is Allegheny County executive.

In the U.S. Senate race, the survey found Republican Pat Toomey leading Democrat Joe Sestak by 9 percentage points among likely voters (but by just 3 points among all registered voters). The likely-voter margin was 38-29, with 32 percent of voters undecided.

The Franklin and Marshall survey contacted 606 registered voters. The stated margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The proportion of Pennsylvanians who say the state is headed in the right direction now stands at 31 percent - while 59 percent believe it is on the wrong track, virtually unchanged from August, the poll found.

Contact staff writer Tom Infield

at 610-313-8205 or tinfield@phillynews.com.