Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hellenthal Poll Shows John Binkley Moved Past Sarah Palin In May 2006

On June 20th 2006, the Anchorage Daily News reported on a poll taken by Hellenthal & Associates during the period May 16-21. This Republican primary poll, commissioned by the Binkley campaign, showed that John Binkley had assumed a narrow lead over Sarah Palin since April. However, an e-mail from the Palin campaign showed that a Dittman poll commissioned by the Palin campaign and taken during the period April 13-17 had revealed a solid lead for Palin in a two-way race with Binkley and a narrower but comfortable lead in a three-way race.

A poll taken by Ivan Moore research during May revealed a different result. It showed Sarah Palin with 43.6%, John Binkley with 27.3%, Frank Murkowski with 17.7%, Brad Snowden with 0.2%, and 11.2% undecided. An unscientific, unofficial KTVA poll at that time(which has since been discontinued) showed a commanding lead for Palin. I addressed this in greater detail in my June 7th post entitled "First Alaska Gubernatorial Poll Puts Tony Knowles In The Catbird Seat". At the time, Hellenthal disputed the results.

So which poll is more representative. Both the Dittman poll and the Hellenthal poll covered April, so let's directly compare April results:

April 2006....Dittman.......Hellenthal

Palin...............38%.................35.1%

Binkley............27%.................30.4%

Murkowski........18%................20.5%

Unsure.............14%................14.0%


Now Ivan Moore vs. Hellenthal in May

May 2006......Moore..........Hellenthal

Palin..............43.6%..............32.5%

Binkley...........27.3%..............35.3%

Murkowski......17.7%...............19.9%

Snowden..........0.2%.................0.0%

Undecided......11.2%...............12.2%


With a customary margin of error of +/- 3%, the April polls are equally sound. The big disparity is between Palin and Binkley in May. According to a KTUU report on June 6th, Marc Hellenthal attributed the gap to differences in polling techniques, but Hellenthal revealed he polled 2 1/2 weeks earlier than Ivan Moore. Could there have been a shift away from Palin towards Binkley during that brief 2 1/2 week period?


Some shift may well be possible, although not to the degree suggested by the disparity. During the past week and a half, KFQD's conservative shock jock Dan Fagan has been somewhat critical of Palin (pictured at left) for not taking a vigorous stand in favor of the Canadian route over the all-Alaska route for the proposed gas line. Fagan justifies this by claiming the producers favor this route. However, Palin wants to allow time for the facts to get out before making the decision one way or another. Fagan claims the producers and their allies are funnelling more campaign contributions to Binkley and Murkowski as a result.

And how's Murkowski reacting to these polls? In an Anchorage Daily News article today, he states that he intends to get a "personality transplant". Actually, that's probably responsible for most of his low ratings. He is the most socially-conservative Republican of the bunch, reacting to a court decision to require state and local employers to provide spousal benefits to the domestic partners of gay employees by appealing the decision. Needy seniors who lost their Longevity Bonus now actually have access to more benefits than before. So Murkowski has done some things right, but, like Ben Stevens, is not exactly a charmer. I still don't think Murkowski can come back far enough to actually win the nomination. By the way, there's also two other Republican gubernatorial candidates - Gerald L. "Jerry" Heikes, and Merica Hlatcu (soon to be appearing on a fence or vacant lot near you).

I'm puzzled as to John Binkley's appeal. Yeah, he's a former State Senator who did a competent job, but he has all the personality of cold oatmeal. He seems like a right-wing version of Tony Knowles (put button-down sweaters on both of them and they remind you of Mister Rogers). Go figure.

1 comment:

  1. The primary was held in August, three months after the poll results by Hellenthal & Associates showing Binkley ahead of Palin and Murkowski. Hellenthal never had poll results showing Binkley ahead of Palin after that. ~KHT

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