Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This Just In - New Dittman Poll Shows Sarah Palin Leading In The Alaska Gubernatorial Sweepstakes

Special Note: Post updated at 9:05 P.M. on October 25th to include link to complete Dittman Poll hard copy by Anchorage Daily News reporter Kyle Hopkins on The Trail blog.

On his current radio show, KFQD's conservative talk show host Dan Fagan just released the results of Dave Dittman's latest poll, concluded just yesterday (October 24th). During his subsequent interview with Fagan, Dittman disclosed that the poll was conducted October 20th through 24th, with a sample size of 510 respondents. Now, the envelope, please:

Sarah Palin (R) - 48%
Tony Knowles (D) - 39%
Andrew Halcro (Ind) - 4%
Unsure - 9%

Regional Breakdown:

Rural Alaska:

Knowles - 60%
Palin - 30%
Halcro - 3%

Central Alaska:

Palin - 63%
Knowles - 29%
Halcro - 2%

South Central Alaska (excluding Anchorage):

Palin - 57%
Knowles - 28%
Halcro - 3%

Anchorage:

Palin - 46%
Knowles - 37%
Halcro - 6%

Southeast Alaska:

Knowles - 60%
Palin - 32%
Halcro - 2%

Here are the results of the previous 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%

And the first Dittman Poll, taken August 30th:

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

Like the other polls, Dittman's polls also show a trend towards Tony Knowles. However, the numbers are significantly differently from the results of the latest Craciun and Hellenthal polls, both discussed here yesterday, which show Palin and Knowles in a virtual dead heat.

Fagan doesn't believe the Hellenthal poll is accurate, because a previous Hellenthal poll projected a John Binkley victory over Sarah Palin in the August 22nd primary election. However, the latest Hellenthal poll is supported by the latest Craciun poll.

Fagan did mention that the Dittman poll was commisssioned by the Palin campaign, but Dittman's polls have been accurate in the past, and most candidates want accurate results for the sake of campaign credibility. He was the only pollster successfully predicting that Sarah Palin would not only win the Republican primary, but receive as much as 50% of the vote.

Because the Craciun and Hellenthal polls were completed so recently (October 21st), we cannot necessarily credit Palin's better Dittman numbers to any "bump" created by her newest campaign commercial. This commercial, her most effective of the campaign, incisively exposes the inadequacies of the previous Knowles Administrations and reveals his taxoholic inclinations.

Most likely, considering the standard margin of error, the Hellenthal and Craciun polls may be too pessimistic (from the Palin perspective), and the Dittman poll too optimistic. A more realistic result might read like this:

Palin - 45%
Knowles - 40%
Halcro - 10%
Others - 5%

Thus I reiterate my projection that Sarah Palin will win the election by at least five percentage points. I also think Halcro will pick up a glut of Undecided votes to shove him into double-digit country, although Dave Dittman believes that Halcro's numbers will not pick up because people may not want to risk a vote for Halcro being a "proxy" vote for either Palin or Knowles.

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