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Alaska Now in Play for Dems?

September 2, 2010    Content provided by DDC Advocacy

Once Sen. Lisa Murkowski realized she had gained only 38 votes on challenger Joe Miller after 15,000 absentee ballots had been counted, she quickly conceded the hard-fought race. It does not appear she will attempt to gain general election ballot access, thus Miller will face Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams head-to-head in November. Immediately, the Democrats are proclaiming that this race is in play for them and say McAdams will run as a moderate. The first three polls uncover a sizable Miller lead, however. Basswood Research (8/28-29; 400 likely AK voters) gives Miller a strong 52-36% margin over McAdams. Public Policy Polling (8/27-28; 1,306 likely AK voters) detects similar numbers, but not as favorable for the Republican. They show the former magistrate judge holding a 47-39% advantage. Rasmussen Reports went into the field on August 31st (500 likely AK voters) and found Miller leading 50-44% within their sampling universe.

Barring any major general election gaffe and assuming that he will now have adequate funding, the turnout model should favor a Miller victory, particularly if the primary electorate is any indication. The Public Policy Polling exit survey of 805 Alaska voters tells us the story. Miller has a 51:40% favorability index versus Murkowski's 48:46%. More than 47% of the Republican voters viewed the Senator as being too liberal to only 38% who characterized her as "about right". Miller enjoyed a 51-33% spread among people who thought he was "about right" against those who believe he is too conservative. Finally 34% of the Republican voters think their party is too liberal, versus just 35% who believe it is "about right." Fresh from his official victory, Miller looks to be in good shape to win the seat in the general election.

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