Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Rasmussen Poll Shows Only A 7-Point Lead For Alaska Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Sarah Palin

The latest Rasmussen Poll on the Alaska gubernatorial race has been released, but is only available at the moment to premium members who have a paid subscription. Rasmussen will release the information to the general public in a couple of days. I do not have a paid subscription, nor do I need one, since KFQD's conservative talk show host Dan Fagan released the results on his October 11th program. Fagan believes the Rasmussen poll is not as credible as the others because it is totally automated and Rasmussen is not based in Alaska. I also visited the Real Clear Politics website and found the result:

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

The previous Rasmussen poll, released September 8th, showed the following result:

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

The 3% increase in Undecided votes in the current poll may reflect some increased support for Andrew Halcro, who was NOT included in the poll.

This poll shows a significantly narrower lead for Palin than the recent Dittman and Ivan Moore polls, but this trend may be exacerbated by the fact that only a head-to-head comparison between Palin and Knowles was solicited. So perhaps Halcro voters may have been more likely to choose either Knowles or Undecided rather than Palin. This would make the gap look narrower than it actually is. If Halcro was included, Palin's lead might more likely be 9 or 10 percentage points, more consistent with the trends of the most recent successive Dittman and Ivan Moore polls.

So there is a clear-cut slow trend in favor of Tony Knowles, but there are only 3 1/2 weeks before the election, and can Knowles really expect to make up a 7-point gap in that time? It's possible, within the margin of error, but is it probable? Tony Knowles has obviously benefited from a T.V. spot which questions whether we can afford a governor needing "on-the-job" training. But Tony Knowles has now aired a new T.V. spot showing people at a poker table pushing all their poker chips away from a circle labeled "Sarah Palin" and into a circle labeled "Tony Knowles" with the theme "don't gamble with Alaska's future". However, this T.V. spot may backfire amongst social conservatives because it implicitly links Knowles with legalized gambling (although to be fair, Tony Knowles is not on record as supporting legalized gambling). So I stand by my previous projection that Palin will win the election by a 5 to 8 point margin.

Fagan also announced that Dave Dittman will release another poll sometime next week. When I find out about it, I'll discuss it here.

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  1. Plus the two to three percent of Libertarian voters will swing to Republican Palin, as well. She's done a good job of reaching out to libertarian-minded voters.

    As they say in baseball...

    Sheeeeeee's a winner!

  2. That will indeed help us out. Sarah Palin believes in no more government than is absolutely necessary. If you saw Tony Knowles' website, you saw his elaborate education program, in which he's quite vague about how he'll pay for it (or, more precisely, how we'll pay for it).