Saturday, July 22, 2006

Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski Jumps A Whopping One Percent In The Polls

The Anchorage Daily News (ADN) reports that Frank Murkowski (pictured at left courtesy of KTUU) now has an approval rating of 21%, according to the latest survey taken by SurveyUSA between July 14th-16th, and published on July 17th. This stopped a nearly four-month long slide from 29% on March 21st and the ADN facetiously attributes it to a new campaign song turned into an ad.

The percentage of adults who approve of the job Murkowski is doing grew to 21 percent, up from 20 percent. The number who disapprove of the governor shrank by about 2 percentage points, down to a still high 76 percent. That's a tiny change, and well within the error margin of 4 or 5 percentage points. But it's also the first improvement in both categories for Murkowski since March.

In the past month, Murkowski has been busy signing bills, making speeches, debating and advertising -- including a much talked about honky-tonk jingle on the radio and a recent endorsement ad from former North Pole lawmaker Mike Miller. Survey USA showed Murkowski gaining popularity among people 55 years old and older in the past month but losing ground with Republicans.

Surprisingly, Murkowski's approval rating went up among Democrats. However, Alaska Democratic Party State Chairman Jake Metcalfe -- no fan of the governor -- didn't buy it. "I find that hard to believe," he said.

Murkowski's numbers are still the second worst in the country, according to SurveyUSA. Ohio governor Bob Taft is the reigning champion of ill will, with a 17% approval rating and a net disapproval rating of negative 61 percent, compared with negative 55 percent for Murkowski. Taft pleaded no contest last year and was fined $4,000 in a wide-ranging political scandal.

This survey simply asked a Yes or No vote about Frank Murkowski and didn't compare him against any Republican primary opponents. However, the results are remarkably similar to Republican polling numbers in Alaska. Sorry Guv, but if you start offering meals aboard that fancy jet, perhaps you might want to consider serving lame duck as the main course.

Here's a more detailed demographic categorical breakdown from SurveyUSA:


Male - 22%
Female - 21%

Age Group:

18-34 - 23%
35-54 - 21%
55+ - 21%


White - 20%
Black - 13%
Hispanic - 32%
Other - 24%

Political Affiliation:

Republican - 35%
Democrat - 18%
Independent - 11%

Education Level:

No College - 18%
Some College - 23%
College Grad - 20%
Post-College - 22%

Church Attendance:

Never - 14%
Occasional - 25%
Regular - 27%

Abortion Stance:

Pro-Life - 31%
Pro-Choice - 16%

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