The governor's race is a tossup, the tax-cutting initiatives are finished and Rep. Jim Hansen still leads in the 1st Congressional District.
The final Deseret News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson has 36 percent of the vote, Gov. Norm Bangerter 36 percent and independent Merrill Cook 24 percent. Three percent are still undecided, Jones found in a survey of 1,210 people taken from Nov. 1-4. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Since voter registration closed last week, Jones polled only those who said they're registered voters.Jones warns that the last poll before Tuesday's election isn't a prediction of the what voters will actually do, but is a fair and accurate reflection of their attitudes last week.
"The governor's race and attorney general's race are just too close to call," Jones said. "They will go to which party has the best get-out-the-vote effort. It's come to that."
The poll shows Attorney General David Wilkinson at 45 percent support, Democrat Paul Van Dam at 47 percent and 8 percent undecided.
While the race could go for Wilson or Bangerter, the governor clearly has the momentum. He's been coming up, although slowly, in the last several Jones polls, while Wilson has been dropping. Aides from both camps wonder if Cook's support will hold strong, believing if it doesn't, and they get some of those Cook votes, then their man will win.
But Jones asked everyone he questioned who they think will win the governor's race - to measure some of that loyalty. He found that 20 percent of those who favor Wilson think Bangerter will win, 11 percent of those favor Bangerter think Wilson will win. But 93 percent of those who favor Cook think their man will win. That means only 7 percent of Cook voters wonder if their guy can do it, and so may stray once in the voting booth.
Still, 7 percent of the 24 percent Cook vote may be enough to decide between Wilson and Bangerter, should those people desert their first choice.
In other races, Sen. Orrin Hatch is still way ahead of Democrat Brian Moss, 68-26 percent.
Hansen leads Democrat Gunn McKay 52-44 percent, with 1 percent saying they'd vote for someone else - even though no one else is on the ballot in the 1st District - and 3 percent undecided.
Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, continues his lead over Republican Richard Snelgrove, 57-34 percent with only 7 percent undecided. And Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, is rolling over Democrat Bob Stringham, 64-22 percent.
While the U.S. Senate and House races have remained fairly firm the last several months, it's the state races that have swung around.
Bangerter has gained slowly, but steadily. Wilson has dropped, but quickly. An Oct. 6 poll by Jones showed Wilson with a 10 point lead, 43-33. Cook has been taking much of Wilson's support, as he has gained also.
This is the first time Van Dam has led Wilkinson in the polls. The Democrat has been running TV ads, the first time an attorney general candidate has used that medium.
GOP State Auditor Tom Allen has increased his lead over Democrat Arthur Miller, 48-31 percent.
And Republican Treasurer Ed Alter has closed dramatically on Democratic Salt Lake County Treasurer Art Monson. Monson held a 20-point lead only several weeks ago. But Jones found Monson now leads 46-42 percent with 11 percent undecided. Alter has been running some very critical radio advertisements, which may have turned the race around.
The tax initiatives appear to be going down to a crushing defeat. Initiatives A and B - which would limit property taxes and roll back the 1987 tax increases - had healthy majorities just six months ago. But now they are so far behind it is difficult to see a turnaround victory.
Jones found that 62 percent are against Initiative A, 32 percent are in favor and 5 percent undecided. Sixty-four percent are opposed to Initiative B, 31 percent are in favor and 4 percent undecided. And 69 percent are opposed to Initiative C _ which would give a tax credit to the parents of children who attend private schools - 26 percent are in favor and 5 percent undecided.
In Salt Lake County, GOP Commissioner Mike Stewart leads Democrat Jim Bradley, 47-38 percent, with 14 percent undecided. And former GOP commissioner Tom Shimizu leads Democrat Dale Gardiner 53-35 percent with 10 percent undecided.
Legislative House and Senate districts are too small to poll. But to give a flavor for voting preferences, Jones asked those questioned if they thought they'd vote Republican or Democratic in their state legislative races.
Fifty-one percent said they'd vote Republican in House races, 30 percent said Democratic. Fifty-two percent said they'd vote Republican in state Senate races, 29 percent said Democratic.