REAGAN CAN almost name his margin in this state, where Carter was often burned in effigy because of his support of the bill transferring large areas of Alaska to wilderness and park use. Libertarian Ed Clark is drawing enthusiastic support here and could have his best showing in the country, local observers say.
Former State Rep. Clark Gruening (D), grandson of former Sen. Ernest Gruening (D) and conqueror of Sen. Mike Gravel (D) in the primary, was running dead even with Fairbanks banker Frank Murkowski (R) in post-primary September polls. Gruening is refusing PAC contributions and may be outspent by a wide margin, making this a possible GOP pickup on Reagan's coattails. But Alaska odds-makers rate Gruening a slight favorite. Rep. Don Young (R) will probably outpoll even Reagan. ARIZONA (6)
REAGAN IS running almost 2-to-1 ahead of Carter in the polls, so the main interest is in the reelection bids of two nationally famous Arizonans, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater (R) and Rep. Morris K. Udall (D).
Goldwater, 71, is opposed in his bid for a fifth term by William R. Schulz (D), a millionaire Scottsdale apartment developer who is financing his own campaign. Schulz has made an issue of Goldwater's age, his attendance record and his refusal to debate. The Arizona Republic's latest poll gave Goldwater 15-point lead; Schultz says it is closer, but Goldwater is still favored.
Udall probably has a tougher contest with Richard H. Huff (R), a Tucson developer, who is matching the incumbent's half-million-dollar budget. Polls show a double-digit Udall lead but the nine-term veteran is running scared -- probably with good reason. CALIFORNIA (45)
RONALD REAGAN has been on the California ballot six times and has won six times; Jimmy Carter has been on the California ballot three times and has lost three times. Despite the pattern, Carter forces insisted they would target California and try to win Reagan's home state. But recent private polls in both camps show Reagan outpolling Carter and Anderson combined, and the state seems secure for Reagan.
Sen. Alan Cranston (D) might have been vulnerable to another challenger, but Paul Gann (R), who gained fame as co-sponsor (with House Jarvis) of Proposition 13, has been butchering both the issues and the king's English, giving Cranston a virtual pass to a third team.
The state's volatility shows in the House races, where such senior members as Harold T. (Bizz) Johnson (D) and Don H. Clausen (R) are facing serious challenges. The most colorful and contentious campaigns -- and the likeliest turnovers -- involve the challenge to Rep. James C. Corman (D), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, from Bobbi Fiedler (R), antibusing leader of the Los Angeles school board, and Rep. Robert K. Dornan's (R) rematch with Carey Peck (D), son of Gregory Peck. Rep. John L. Burton (D), as liberal as Dornan is conservative and as flamboyant, has a stiff race with attorney Dennis McQuaid (R). In the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Bob Wilson (R), a Democratic state senator with the same name may take over, despite the "real" Bob Wilson's efforts to promote San Diego deputy mayor Bill Lowery (R) for the job. COLORADO (7)
REAGAN IS a near-certain winner, with today's Denver Post poll showing him 15 points ahead among all voters and 26 points up among the most likely voters.
The reelection campaign of Sen. Gary Hunt (D) was thrown off stride when Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan (R), a moderate who was rejected by the predominantly conservative state GOP convention and gained access to the primary ballot by court decision only five days before the Sept. 9 primary, won a sympathy-vote victory and became the GOP nominee. Her momentum showed in today's poll, in which Buchanan led Hart 44-42 among all voters and 51-36 among the most likely voters.
Hart, who was forewarned of the threat by his own polls, has an organizational and financial edge at this point and has begun regearing his TV spots for the new challenge.Some conservative operatives have moved in to help Buchanan raise money and build an organization, but the extent of GOP unity in her campaign is still uncertain. The two are holding a series of debates, and Hart, an excellent campaigner, will need all his skills to handle Buchanan's threat.
The Post poll showed freshman Rep. Ray Kogovsek (D) running 2-1 behind state Sen. Harold McCormick (R), who came within 366 votes of beating him in 1978. Former state Sen. Hank Brown (R) is favored to replace retiring Rep. James P. Johnson (R), and the other incumbents are ahead. HAWAII (4)
CARTER WON heavily Democratic Hawaii by only 7,372 votes last time and both Reagan's and Anderson's supporters have been active here. But a September Honolulu Advertiser poll had Carter 42, Reagan 28 and Anderson 15. Basic Democratic strength, plus Reagan's conservatism, give Carter the edge.
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D) is a cinch for a fourth term over Cooper Brown (R), a Honolulu attorney, and both Democratic representatives will be back. IDAHO (4)
THE ONLY QUESTION is the size of Regan's margin, and it will be big.
In the most expensive race in Idaho history, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Frank Church (D) is seeking a fifth team term against Rep. Steven D. Symms (R), a favorite of conservative activists. A late-September poll by the Idaho Statesman (accused by Symms supporters of favoring Church) showed the senator 1 point ahead, but a private GOP survey at the same time showed Symms 6 points up. Symms has survived a barrage of charges about silver speculation, conflicts of interest and "womanizing," while Church is under constant attack as a crypto-liberal. The race is expected to be as close as it is nasty.
State Sen. Larry Craig (R) is expected to win the House seat Symms is vacating. MONTANA (4)
REAGAN HAS BEEN holding about a 3-to-2 lead over Carter, with a negligible Anderson vote, and seems sure to win the state. Lt. Gov. Ted Schwinden (D), who defeated Gov. Thomas L. Judge (D) for renomination to a third term, is favored over State Rep. Jack Ramirez (R) of Billings in the gubernatorial race. No change is expected in the House delegation of one Democrat and one Republican. NEVADA (3)
THE ONLY betting action is whether Reagan will lead or trail his national campaign chairman, Sen. Paul Laxalt (R), who is running for his second term. Laxalt is a heavy favorite over former State Sen. Mary Gojack (D) of Reno, who is making her first statewide race on a $150,000 budget, compared to the incumbent's $1 million. Reagan has the advantage of being a Nevada neighbor, whose anti-Washington, pro-defense stand fits the prevailing Nevada interests.
Rep. James D. Santini (D), the lone congressman, is expected to win a fifth term, despite the expected GOP landslide at the top of the ticket. NEW MEXICO(4)
REAGAN LED by 5 to 9 points in two September polls and is a slight favorite in a state that failed in 1976 to uphold its reputation of supporting the winner.
There is no Senate race and, as of the weekend, the status of the key House race was still in litigation. Rep. Harold Runnels (D) died Aug. 5 after winning renomination and with no Republican filed against him. State courts have upheld a ruling allowing the Democrats, but not the Republicans, to name a new candidate. The Democrat is David King, state finance secretary and nephew of Gov. Bruce King (D). Republicans would like to run former State Sen. Joe Skeen, well known from two losing gubernatorial races and leading King in the polls, but Dorothy Runnels, the congressman's widow, is also interested in the seat. Either or both may run write-in campaigns if barred from the ballot. Oregon (6)
In 1976, CARTER lost Oregon by 1,713 votes, as Eugene J. McCarthy's independent candidacy siphoned off more than 40,000 votes. This year Anderson could do him equal damage. An August poll in the Portland Oregonian showed Reagan 6 points ahead, with Anderson at 16 percent and almost one-third undecided. More recent private polls continue to show the Carter deficit below 10 points -- and the president runs vitually even without the Anderson factor. It leans to Reagan, but not very far, especially with former Portland Mayor Neil Goldschmidt, now secretary of transportation, working hard for Carter.
Sen. Bob Packwood (R), seeking a third term, has drawn an estimable challenger in State Sen. Ted Kulongoski (D) of Junction City, but Packwood's big financial advantage and name recognition may make this a trialrun for future races for the challenger.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Al Ullman (D) faces a major threat from Denny Smith (R), owner of a chain of weekly newspapers. The rivals will spend $1 million between them. Smith is hammering away on Ullman's sponsorship of a value-added tax (a position Ullman has recanted) and on his lack of contact with his district, while Ullman paints his opponent as a right-wing extremist. Ullman is also vulnerable on his left flank. He lost 45 percent of the primary votes to a little-known liberal challenger, and has the additional problem of an independent antinuclear candidate being on the ballot in November.
The other threatened incumbent is Rep. James Weaver (D), opposed by County Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald (R) of Brookings, but Weaver has survived similar challenges in the past. Ron Wyden (D), a Portland attorney who upset Rep. Robert Duncan (D) in the primary with the help of teachers and Gray Panthers, is a cinch to win. UTAH (4)
REAGAN IS HEADED for an easy victory, with polls showing him over 60 percent, Sen. Jake Garn (R) should have an equally pleasant cruise to a second-term victory over Dan Berman (D), an antitrust lawyer and transplanted New Jerseyan. But the Democrats have one winner in Gov. Scott Matheson (D), whose 88 percent approval ratings stamp him as one of the most popular politicians in Utah history. His opponent is Bob Wright, a Salt Lake City attorney and former state GOP chairman.
Republicans hope to complete a sweep of the congressional delegation by defeating five-term Rep. Gunn McKay (D). Democrats acknowledge he is strongly challenged by state House Speaker Jim Hansen (R), but think he can hold on. WASHINGTON (9)
THE PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST is overshadowed by the prospect that Washington voters may follow up the dumping of freshman Gov. Dixy Lee Ray (D) in the primary by defeating six-term Sen. Warren G. Magnuson (D), the Senate's senior member.
Carter lost Washington by 60,000 votes last time, but has targeted it for special attention, on the assumption that Reagan is too conservative for this state. A sizable Anderson vote and the coolness of Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D) hamper Carter's prospects.
In the governorship, Ray's conqueror, State Sen. James A. McDermott, came out of the Sept. 16 primary with a head of steam that makes him the early favorite over King County (Seattle) Executive John Spellman (R), who lost to Ray in 1976.
The shocker is that the 75-year-old Magnuson, who has been in Congress since 1937, received only 39 percent of the vote in the open primary and is now in a dead-even contest with State Attorney General Slade Gorton (R). Magnuson ads boast of his power in Washington as Appropriations chairman and his help for the state ($951 million in relief for the volcano damage). But Gorton, 52, "jogged" 60 miles from Seattle to Olympia to file for office and says it is time for Magnuson to retire. Magnuson has a $1.2 million campaign chest, but Republicans and some Democrats believe he has run once too often.
Two House Democrats, Thomas S. Foley and Mike McCormack, have serious challenges, with McCormack perhaps more hard pressed by State Sen. Sid Morrison (R) than Foley is by surgeon John Sonneland (R), his 1978 opponent. WYOMING (3)
IT'S WAKE-ME-when-the-election-is-over in Wyoming this year. Reagan is far ahead in the presidential race. Neither the governor nor a senator is up this year. Freshman Rep. Richard B. Cheney (R) entrenched himself so well that his only opponent is Jim Rogers (D), a Lyman motel and tavern owner who is strapped for campaign funds and silent on national issues.