AK-GOV: We have our first poll in the Alaska gubernatorial race since Democrat Byron Mallett threw his support behind Independent Bill Walker. Commissioned by the AFL-CIO, it shows Mr. Walker with a 37%-30% lead over Republican Gov. Sean Parnell. While this is hardly an unbiased glimpse into The Last Frontier, we are moving this race from Likely Republican to Toss-Up. It is clear that Mr. Parnell is at serious risk.
CO-SEN: An especially ugly poll for Democrats by Quinnipiac University showing Rep. Cory Gardner (R) leading Sen. Mark Udall (D) by eight points is driving a shift from Leans Democratic to Toss-Up. While we view this as an outlier—if anything, we think that Mr. Udall probably holds a slim lead, especially given Quinnipiac’s Republican tilt in 2010—Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper also looks weak and the Democrats will definitely have to work hard to keep control over the Centennial State.
LA-SEN: The combination of a very ugly poll for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and the stiff challenge of reaching 50% in a multi-way general election or a low-turnout December runoff in Louisiana is causing us to change our rating in this race from Toss-Up to Leans Republican.
NC-SEN: With the exception of a single, unconventional poll, Republican Thom Tillis has not led against Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) since early August, and while Ms. Hagan is still at risk, this race has shifted significantly in her favor. We shift it from Toss-Up to Leans Democratic.
NM-GOV: In a state that was twice won handily by President Barack Obama, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez seemed vulnerable. And while Attorney General Gary King seemed a viable candidate to take her on, his campaign has been rocky and recent polling shows Mr. King fading. We shift our rating from Leans Republican to Likely Republican.
OK-GOV: In our initial ratings, we gave State Rep. Joe Dorman a small chance of running a credible challenge to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R). Since then, two polls have given Ms. Fallin a lead of eighteen points, and we’re reading to give this race a rating of Safe Republican.
OH-GOV: Many expected Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) to face a stiff reelection challenge after his signature collective bargaining law was rejected by voters. But his opponent, Ed FitzGerald, ran a disappointing campaign from the start that has become a full-fledged disaster. With Mr. Kasich leading some polls by as much as thirty points, we see no hope for Mr. FitzGerald; this race is now Safe Republican.
PA-GOV: “Wolf Devours Corbett” reads the headline of a recent Quinnipiac University poll showing Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) down by a stunning twenty-four points. And while Mr. Corbett is safe (probably) from lupine aggressors, he no longer stands a chance against Democrat Tom Wolf. This is now Safe Democratic.