Results of a new Rasmussen poll just released this morning show most Alaska voters are neither impressed nor swayed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski's write-in bid to hang on to her U.S. Senate seat after being defeated in the Republican primary. The candidate backed by Sarah Palin has double-digit leads over both of his major opponents:
Republican Joe Miller attracts 42% of the vote in the first Rasmussen Reports poll of the Alaska Senate race since GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski announced her write-in campaign to try to keep her job.
The telephone survey of Likely Voters in Alaska shows Murkowski picking up 27% of the vote and Democrat Scott McAdams earning 25%. One percent (1%) say they’d prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.Full details at Rasmussen Reports.
This race now moves from Leans GOP to Solid GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.
Miller, fueled by an endorsement from former Governor Sarah Palin and by strong Tea Party support, was the upset winner over Murkowski in the Alaska Republican Primary in late August. Despite pleas from the GOP national establishment to accept the primary’s verdict, Murkowksi announced a write-in campaign late last Friday.
Polling for write-in campaigns is always challenging, so results should be interpreted with caution. For this survey, Rasmussen Reports asked respondents about a choice between Miller and McAdams without mentioning Murkowski. That is the choice voters will see when they enter the voting booth. However, when response options were offered to survey respondents, Murkowski’s name was mentioned.
Miller picks up a solid majority of Republican voters, while McAdams wins most Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, the three candidates are essentially even.
According to The Hill, Beltway Republicans are very angry with Murkowski and have completely disowned her. Some, like Sen. John Kyl, were worried that her write-in campaign would split the vote, handing the seat to the Democrats. Others, including Rep. Mike Pence, were more perceptive, saying that the Murkowski bid would have no impact on the outcome and that Joe Miller would win in the general election.