Race Tightening in Alaska!?!

3 11 2008

Go ahead and rub your eyes, and look at that graph again. You saw it right. Less than 3 points separating the candidates in Alaska, as of yesterday. These are the latest numbers released by Alaska’s Hays Research Group. With Obama-Biden nipping at the heels of McCain-Palin, can we be considered a battleground state again?

In Alaska, it’s not unreasonable to expect an “enthusiasm factor” to come into play. Imagine you are an Alaska Republican. (Don’t worry, this won’t last long). Imagine that Senior Senator and Republican icon Ted Stevens just got hit with seven felony convictions and his numbers have slid off a cliff. Then imagine that your lone Congressman Don Young, another Republican icon, has spent $1.2 million of his campaign money on legal fees, and his indictment is coming as sure as the seasons change and the sun rises. His rival, Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, has a comfortable lead. Then imagine that your presidential ticket, McCain-Palin is sending out spokespeople saying that they’re still sort of in the race if they win (insert long list of states, and statistical improbabilities here) AND mange to pull it off in (another long list of states and statistical improbabilities). Then add the fact that you’ll have to go stand in line with a bunch of happy, optimistic Democrats, and you may decide to just sit this one out. Too depressing. And you may have the makings for a single digit race in Alaska.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Obama loses in Alaska by single digits, it is a LANDSLIDE victory. Remember that. And if he actually wins? You’ll hear the cheering from the Lower 48 (AND Hawaii)!

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The Obama Landslide in Alaska. It’s All How You Look at It.

22 10 2008

Brand new poll numbers came out yesterday from Ivan Moore Research, here in Anchorage.

McCain-Palin – 53
Obama-Biden – 42

While McCain/Palin still has a double digit lead, frankly this is a really big deal.

Here is the way Alaska fell out for the last three presidential elections so you can compare:
McCain 53 – Obama 42 (results on 10/21)
Bush 62 – Kerry 35
Bush 59 – Gore 28
Dole 51 – Clinton 33

So, the McCain/Palin ticket in Alaska has managed so far to generate only slightly more interest than Bob Dole. Remember him? And that’s with our governor on the ticket! That’s not much in the way of bragging rights. As a matter of fact, I’m ready to call this a major psychological victory for Obama and the Democrats in Alaska. I feel quite comfortable, in my non-scientific way, to tell you that if Palin were not on the ticket, we’d have a horse race here, in the ruby-reddest-flaming-lobsterized- fire-engine-colored state you can imagine.

As an Alaskan, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the last two months with a metaphorical bag on my head, sinking down in my chair, but now I’m actually feeling a little proud of us. *satisfied sigh*

If the latest Palin debacles of wardrobe-gate, and travel-gate have any effect, and the race goes to a single digit spread, you’ll hear Democratic corks popping all over the state. That’s a landslide.

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New Poll Numbers for Alaska

8 10 2008

We’ve all been waiting for some current poll numbers from Alaska. Here are the latest numbers from Rasmussen.

McCain 55% Obama 40%

Before his selection of Vice Presidential running mate, McCain led in Alaska by a mere 5 points.

McCain favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 64%

Unfavorable: 36%

Obama favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 48%

Unfavorable: 51%

Palin favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 63%

Unfavorable: 37%

Biden favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 51%

Unfavorable: 46%

It is interesting to note that Palin’s favorability rating has plummeted by 20 points since she became the Republican VP nominee. The people of Alaska have been learning a lot about our Governor since late August, and many don’t like what they see. Others are simply rooting for the home team. Others know the issues and where she stands, and like what they see. And while she still retains popular support overall, she has been actively burning bridges with political colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and no amount of federal earmarks are going to build them back. There’s an old adage that says “be nice to people on the way up, because you’re sure to meet them on the way down.” It could be a painful homecoming for the Governor.

Meanwhile in the rest of the nation….

Gallup National Daily Tracking poll:

Obama 52% McCain 41%

This is Obama’s largest lead yet. While McCain isn’t doing much to “change the game,”
and his less than stellar performance in last night’s debate plays a part in Obama’s growing lead, we can’t ignore the Palin effect. The initial “bump” was obvious, but while support from evangelicals and hard-core social conservatives remains galvanized, Palin’s fringe views, low-ball tactics, and obvious empty-headedness on issues of foreign policy have turned her in to a millstone around McCain’s neck in much of the nation.

Obama may not win Alaska, but the numbers are strongly trending back his way. And, for the first time in a long time, there are two very viable Democratic candidates for 2 of our 3 congressional seats, all currently held by Republicans. Progressives in the state are waking up, and Alaska is becoming purple one way or another.





First Post-Palin Poll Numbers in From Alaska.

6 09 2008

There’s been lots of talk, Sarah-mania, Sarah-despair, and gossip up here in Alaska.  But now the first poll numbers are in and we can see how Palin’s nomination has affected Alaskans’ opinions of our governor and wannabee Vice President.  Comparing the poll numbers taken August 9-12, and August 30-September 2, here’s how they compare.

What is your opinion of Sarah Palin?

Positive:  80.2% -> 81.6%

Negative:  13.2% -> 13.1%

Neutral: 6.4% -> 5.4%

The first poll finished up the day before the infamous taped phone call between Frank Bailey and Trooper Mike Dial, where Bailey pressured Dial to axe Palin’s ex-brother-in-law Trooper Mike Wooten.  So, if there had been any negative effect, it doesn’t show here.  Palin’s popularity had dipped to 67% at one point after Troopergate, but she’s back up into the 80s.   So, if you loved her before, you still do.  If you didn’t, you still don’t.  End of story.

But here’s an interesting twist.  When asked if McCain’s choice of Palin helped or hurt the Republican’s chances this fall:

Helps: 65.2%

Hurts: 20.2%

Not Sure: 14.6%

There’s clearly a segment of people who, although they like Palin in Alaska, aren’t as confident that she brings much to the national ticket.





Alaska Presidential Poll Numbers

12 08 2008

Here’s another one. ‘Tis the season of numbers, and I’m kind of a poll junkie, so you can expect lots of these between now and November. Here we go:

Hays Research Group polled 400 Alaskans from August 6 – August 8. Here’s the question:

“Thinking about the election for President of the United States, if the

election were held today and the candidates were Democrat Barack Obama,

Republican John McCain or Independent Ralph Nader, for whom would you vote

or are you undecided?”

Drumroll….

Obama 45%

McCain 40%

Nader 2%

Other 2%

Undecided 10%

This includes leaners. I’m watching with great interest as the Obama machine springs to life and warms up for the Final 3 months. I’ve been to Obama headquarters several times now, and the energy is palpable. I have not been to McCain’s headquarters because, well, there is none. I can’t see McCain gaining at this point, with no campaign office in the state, and none planned.





New Rasmussen Poll Numbers for Alaska

18 06 2008

It’s only June, so why does this already feel like a nail-biter?  A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released today shows another 2 point split between Begich and Stevens in the senate race…only this time Stevens is up.  Still well within the margin of error, but it would have been nice to see a widening split in Begich’s favor.

Today:  Stevens 46%, Begich 44%

Last Month:  Begich 47%, Stevens 45%

View Candidate Favorably?   Stevens 51%    Begich 55%

View Candidate Unfavorably?  Stevens 44%   Begich 36%

Amazingly, Ted Stevens’ favorable ratings have gone up 5% since last month!  Huh?  Amnesia has set in.  We’re delirious from the long hours of daylight.  All that corruption is SO…..last month.  What is it?  This must be stopped….

Hmmmm.  Can you think of anything that might remind people how neck-deep Stevens is in Alaska’s cesspool of political corruption?   Anything that might spark the people’s memories?  (Hint: It’s related to him.)    That’s right, sonny boy Ben!   I’ve been on Ben-Watch since June 1st, when a coworker of a friend of a friend who knows something told me that the indictment of Stevens ‘the Lesser’ would be handed down within 30 days.  That was 18 days ago.   I claim no secret knowledge other than this really somewhat reliable gossip from said coworker of friend of friend in the know…but I’m counting anyway.

It’ll be interesting to see what Rasmussen Reports has to say after the fateful day, and the feeding frenzy of media coverage that is sure to follow.

Tick tick tick…