PPP's newest Alaska poll finds toss up races for both the US Senate and Governor. Dan Sullivan leads Mark Begich 43/41 for the Senate, with minor candidates combining for 5%. Bill Walker leads incumbent Sean Parnell 42/41 for Governor, with minor candidates combining for 5% in that race as well.
Sullivan has gained 6 points since our last poll in early August, while Begich has dropped 2. Sullivan's gain has come largely due to consolidating his support among Republican leaning voters since winning the primary last month. He now leads 75/9 among folks who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, compared to 70/11 on the last survey. Sullivan's seen significant improvement in his image as conservative voters have rallied around him too- his net favorability is up 10 points from -8 at 35/43 last month to now +2 at 44/42. Begich's approval is a 42/51 spread.
Making life more difficult for Begich is Barack Obama's continued unpopularity in the state- only 40% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 56% who disapprove. Nevertheless the contest remains very much in the toss up zone.
In the race for Governor the fusion ticket of independent Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott has made it a race. Incumbent Sean Parnell is slightly unpopular, with 42% of voters approving of the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. Meanwhile Walker is well liked among voters who are familiar with him- 40% have a favorable opinion to 23% with an unfavorable one. Walker leads 44/33 with independents, and he is getting 22% of the Republican vote to Parnell's 14% of the Democratic vote. Supporters of the minor candidates in the race say they would choose Walker over Parnell 68/19 if they had to choose between the two, and when you reallocate their support Walker's advantage grows to 45/41.
2 other things on the Alaska ballot this year don't appear that they'll be competitive. In the US House race long time incumbent Don Young has a comfortable lead, getting 48% to 33% for Democrat Forrest Dunbar and 9% for Libertarian Jim McDermott. And Alaska's measure to increase the minimum wage is heading for overwhelming passage- 61% of voters support it to only 33% who are opposed. Democrats (88/8) and independents (63/31) are firmly behind it and even Republicans (43/52) are relatively divided on it.
Other notes from Alaska looking toward 2016:
-Alaskans continue to have a very dim view of their most famous resident. 32% see Sarah Palin favorably to 54% with an unfavorable opinion. She would trail Hillary Clinton 44/38 in a hypothetical 2016 President contest in the state even as Clinton trails all the other Republican candidates in the state by varying margins (44/40 against Mike Huckabee, 44/39 against Jeb Bush, 45/40 against Rand Paul, 46/39 against Ted Cruz, 46/36 against Chris Christie.) Only 18% of Alaskans think Palin should seek the White House in 2016 to 75% who think she should sit it out, and even among Republicans only 23% think she should run. Finally 30% of voters in the state think the Palins instigated the recent brawl they were involved in to 18% who think it was the other parties involved, although 52% have no opinion.
Full results here