PPP's final Colorado and Alaska polls find the Republican candidates for the Senate with small leads, and both states have very tight races for Governor as well.
In Colorado, Cory Gardner leads Mark Udall 48/45 in the full field of candidates and 50/47 in a straight head to head contest. Udall is running up the score with Hispanics- he's ahead 64/35- but he's also down 53/40 with white voters. He is also ahead 46/37 with independents, but 15% of Democrats say they're going to cross over and vote for Gardner compared to just 9% of Republicans who say they're going to support Udall. Udall continues to be plagued by poor approval numbers, with only 38% of voters giving him good marks to 51% who disapprove. Meanwhile Gardner's proven to be a pretty appealing candidate, sporting a 49/39 favorability rating. Our 4 post Labor Day polls of this race have found Gardner up by 2, Gardner up by 3, a tie, and now Gardner up by 3 again.
The Governor's race could not be much closer. John Hickenlooper and Bob Beauprez are both at 46% and even when you take the results out to decimal places they're still tied at 45.9%. The slightest hint of an advantage for Beauprez might come in the numbers in a head to head rather than the full field- there Beauprez leads 49/48 because supporters of the third party candidates say they'd prefer him over Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper has a 40/48 approval spread, while Beauprez's favorability is 44/37.
Republicans also lead the down ballot races in Colorado. They have 6 point advantages in the contests for Secretary of State and State Treasurer, and a 13 point lead for Attorney General. Barack Obama is exceptionally unpopular in the state- a 35/58 approval spread- and that is surely contributing to the Democrats' struggles.
The one good piece of news for Democrats is that the state's Personhood amendment is headed for pretty emphatic defeat- only 38% of voters support it to 56% who are opposed. Personhood amendments also generally poll better before the election than they do at the ballot box, so it could end up losing by more than that.
The Alaska Senate race is even tighter than the one in Colorado, with Dan Sullivan leading Mark Begich just 46/45 with the full field and 47/46 in a head to head contest. Begich leads 50/36 with independents and has 91% of the Democratic vote behind him to just 81% of Republicans who are for Sullivan. The picture in this race is pretty steady- Sullivan led by 2 points on our last poll in September. Begich has a very strong ground game and it could be enough to put him over the top.
The Alaska Governor's race is similarly tight with independent Bill Walker holding a 1 point lead over Republican incumbent Sean Parnell, 46/45. Walker held a 1 point lead in September as well. Voters are very closely divided on Parnell's job performance with 44% approving of him to 45% who disapprove. On the other hand voters like Walker with 45% rating him favorably to 26% with a negative view.
The contest that's seen a lot of movement in Alaska since September is the House race. Don Young now leads by just 6 points at 47/41, after having previously held a 15 point advantage at 48/33. His various incidents in the last month seem to be taking a toll.
Finally Alaska's ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage continues to be headed for overwhelming passage. 62% of voters support it to only 33% who are opposed. Independents support it 70/25.