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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Murkowski write-in damages McAdams more than Miller, recent poll shows.

When Lisa Murkowski first announced her write-in campaign, it was understood that it could go one of two ways. Either Murkowski would divide the republican vote, or she would take support from McAdams the democratic nominee in the form of independents and moderates. Well, according to a poll recently released by Ivan Moore (a local political consultant and pollster) it seems to be the latter.

The recent polls show that Murkowski is drawing support from those who would have more likely voted democrat had she not been in the race, while Miller's support is maintaining solidarity. This is quickly becoming the situation that many Murkowski supporters had feared. If support was leeched from Miller it would only strengthen Lisa's chances. However with the support coming from McAdams there is a chance that it will divide the anti-Miller vote to the point that neither candidate will be able to prevail over him. According to the pull 30% of democrats polled said they were supporting Murkowski while 15% remained undecided. The poll also shows Miller leading followed closely by Murkowski.

Whether or not these polls are to be taken as representitive is always up for debate. This is of course the same pollster that showed Murkowski easily winning the Republican primary election. The polling was primarily done with 'super-voters' (those who have voted in the last 3-4 elections) and make it difficult to gauge the effect that newly motivated voters (Tea Parties?) might have on the outcome. Even while McAdams is shown as trailing both Murkowski and Miller the Alaska Democratic Party maintains that they believe the race is still 'wide-open'.

Regardless of how correct these polls are they do highlight an important reality. The supporters of Joe Miller are in a much better position. By being the candidate of the far right and the far right being very mobilized he has a stronger base to work with. Murkowski on the other hand is coming from being a conservative but not conservative enough for many Tea Party supporters. As a result Miller could very well win the election on the count of neither McAdams nor Murkowski being able to generate enough votes individually, although I do believe that their votes combined would hand him defeat. Unfortunately I don't see a remedy for this other than either McAdams or Murkowski dropping out. Sadly for McAdams, even if Murkowski dropped out I don't think he would have the votes to win, and sadly for the anti-Miller crowd, I dont' see McAdams dropping out at all.

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