One thing is clear: The Pennsylvania Senate race has tightened. Much less clear: Just how close Republican challenger Tom Smith has gotten to Bob Casey.
The Inquirer poll has Casey with 48 percent of the vote to Smith's 38 percent. There's no disputing that it's a more narrow race than it was this summer. An August Inquirer poll put his lead at 53 percent to 34 percent, and Casey was generally considered safe.
Smith, a self-funding first-time candidate, has significantly outspent Casey in television advertising. And over the past several weeks, independent, non-automated polls have showed Casey's lead at anywhere from 5 points to 12 points.
The survey was conducted Oct. 4-8, and surveyed 600 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.