Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Polls Show Alaska Gubernatorial Race A Tossup Between Sarah Palin And Tony Knowles

Anchorage Daily News reporter Kyle Hopkins has posted the results of two new polls on The Trail political blog. Both show that Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin (pictured at left, courtesy of KTUU) and Democratic candidate Tony Knowles are now in a dead heat.

Craciun Research conducted a statewide poll during the period October 7th through 15th for Alaskan Newspapers, Inc., a subsidiary of Calista Corporation, one of the largest Alaska Native Corporations in the state. Alaska Newspapers publishes the following six newspapers: The Arctic Sounder, The Bristol BayTimes, The Cordova Times, The Dutch Harbor Fisherman, The Seward Phoenix LOG, and The Tundra Drums. The sample size of the poll was 418 likely voters and the margin of error is 5%. The results:

Sarah Palin (R) - 43%
Tony Knowles (D) - 43%
Andrew Halcro (Ind) - 6%
Undecided - 8%

This is the first Craciun poll of the general election campaign. The most recent Craciun poll was taken back during the primary election campaign, correctly predicting the respective outcomes.

In addition, a new Hellenthal poll was also conducted during the period October 18th through 21st for lobbyist Sam Kito, who represents 15 different clients, including the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Dental Society, ConocoPhillips, and GCI. No sample size of this poll has yet been disclosed. The results:

Tony Knowles (D) - 42.6%
Sarah Palin (R) - 41.9%
Andrew Halcro (Ind) - 6.8%
Undecided - 8.7%

A previous Hellenthal poll, discussed back on September 13th, showed the following result (this was the first poll to show Knowles closing the gap):

Palin - 46.7%
Knowles - 40.8%
Halcro - 8.6%
Undecided - 3.9%

While previous Hellenthal polls have been considered questionable, this one shows virtually identical results to the Craciun poll, (previously proven to be reliable), and is a continuation of the clear-cut trend towards Tony Knowles first exposed in the latest Rasmussen poll. In a conversation with ADN reporter Kyle Hopkins, Marc Hellenthal revealed why the Hellenthal polls were different than the other polls during the primary election campaign, erroneously showing Binkley to be leading over Palin at that time. Hellenthal said that his polls didn’t show Binkley ahead at any point after May 15. However, he added that Binkley did release poll numbers in July that showed him leading in the primary. But Hellenthal said those numbers weren’t the whole picture and “did not reflect the full group of likely voters.”

What's surprising is the 5% increase in the percentage of Undecideds this late in the campaign. Halcro seems to have been slightly victimized by this increase, as he lost two percentage points.

Fueling the Knowles surge has been a nonstop barrage of ads characterizing Palin's "limited" mayoral experience as insufficient preparation for governing a state grappling with a major project like the proposed natural gas pipeline. Others have pounced on Palin's occasional inconsistencies in her expression of some of her positions. In addition, Palin has fought with one hand tied behind her back, refusing to flip the "experience" card against Knowles out of a commendable but somewhat naive desire to keep her campaign completely beyond suspicion

Until now. The Palin campaign has just released the best ad of the season. Sarah goes on the offensive and highlights the inadequacies of Knowles' previous two terms, particularly his failure to grow the economy and his repeated attempts to impose a state income tax as the first solution to the state's financial woes at the time. This is what Sarah has needed to do - expose Tony's inadequacies and ask why he should be given a third chance to fail Alaska. This ad should be enough to cap the Knowles surge, and I still predict Palin will win by as much as five percentage points. The rest of the general election polling history is recapped below.

The Rest of the General Election Polling History

The latest Rasmussen Poll, discussed on October 11th:

Sarah Palin (R) - 47%
Tony Knowles (D) - 40%
Undecided - 13%

The latest Ivan Moore Poll, taken for the ACOA, discussed on October 10th:

Sarah Palin (R) - 48.0%
Tony Knowles (D) - 37.0%
Andrew Halcro (Ind) - 6.8%
David Massie (Green) - 0.8%
Don Wright (AkIP) - 0.7%
Billy Toien (Lib) - 0.2%
Undecided - 6.4%

The latest Dittman Poll, taken for the Palin campaign, September 13-17, discussed on October 6th:

Sarah Palin (R) - 49%
Tony Knowles (D) - 37%
Andrew Halcro (Ind) - 4%
Unsure - 10%

The previous Rasmussen poll, released September 8th:

Sarah Palin (R) - 52%
Tony Knowles (D) - 38%
Undecided - 10%

And the first Dittman Poll, taken August 30th:

Palin - 46%
Knowles - 29%
Halcro - 3%
Unsure - 22%

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  1. Great, let's get another republican in there to wine and dine big oil interests. You'd think Alaskans would be smart enough to avoid another crony after even the republican party threw one out during the primaries. Eliminated the Longevity for our seniors. Doubled the price of business licenses for small business. Cut funding for cities and municipalities. Tried to destroy the Alaska Marine highway and appointed Rainman Robin Taylor to run it! Yeah, let's get another oil sucking crony in there! Way to go, Alaska!

  2. And the Democrats have what to offer? More flowers and a new PAC?
    How about kiddy care for flaky 19 year olds who don't know what birth control is?
    True story: 19 year old gets prego by boy friend, they marry, have baby, sign up for the local kiddy care for free shots, diapers and you name it, they write a letter to national judge television show, get picked, TAKE DAYS OFF WORK to appear on show thinking it's their ticket to fame and fortune while we are still paying for their free shots, diapers and you name it.
    19 year old mommy comes back pissed off because judge won't take them to lunch! And we are still paying for their little accidents.
    When you find a political party that really makes sense let me know!
    Right now I'll take big oil over slobs who can't keep their legs together.

  3. And one more thing, the Longevity bonus was a bunch of BS, also!

  4. Anonymous - Sarah Palin is hardly a "crony". As a matter of fact, "cronies" like Randy Ruedrich actively supported her opponents during the primary campaign.

    Furthermore, Palin wants to restore revenue sharing for our communities. She also isn't a cheerleader for the highway route and the Big 3 oil companies like Knowles and Halcro.

    Suggest you review Sarah Palin's web site to correct your misconceptions about her.

  5. Judith - Damn good post!!! The Democrats have a tendency to promote, enshrine, and even subsidize personal irresponsibility in the name of cultural "diversity". Harry Crawford is one exception to the rule, though, and if I lived in his district, I'd vote for him. Crawford opposed attempts to turn the old API Seafood Plant into a gambling casino and continues to vigorously oppose video poker outlets, which would become magnets for teenagers and create significant enforcement problems.

    However, there was no need to abolish the Longevity Bonus. It had already been restricted to those currently receiving it and would have died of attrition. Nonetheless, Murkowski did not know at the time that oil would zoom to $75 per barrel, and it must have seemed like the logical thing to do.

  6. My problem with the Longevity bonus was how they handed it out to anyone and everyone that showed up in the state.

    There used to be a bumper sticker that said something to the effect of: "Please, God! Just one more oil boom! I promise I won't piss it away this time!"