Saturday, August 09, 2008

Basswood Research Poll Shows Sean Parnell Leading Don Young By Four Points In Alaska U.S. House Race, But Ivan Moore Calls It Differently

Apparently the ass-whipping that Sean Parnell took at the hands of incumbent Congressman Don Young during the Republican debates hosted by KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage, Alaska on Monday August 4th, 2008 hasn't quite fully sunk in yet. A poll of 300 likely voters conducted by Basswood Research on August 5th shows that Parnell still nurtures a slim lead over Young. Full report HERE, here are the numbers:

Sean Parnell: 42 percent
Don Young: 38 percent
Undecided: 12 percent
Gabrielle LeDoux: 8 percent

This correlates with a Hays Research poll taken on July 24-25, which showed Parnell with a 46-42 percent lead over Young. But the narrow margin may be a bit misleading; the Basswood poll showed that Parnell's supporters were much more committed than Don Young's supporters.

These two polls contrast significantly with a poll conducted by Ivan Moore at an unspecified date recently. According to the Anchorage Press, the first media outlet to release the results, Don Young had 46 percent, Sean Parnell 38.3 percent, Undecided 10.1 percent, and Gabrielle LeDoux 5.6 percent. While Ivan Moore is generally considered the second most reliable pollster in Alaska, right behind Dave Dittman, who is considered the "gold standard", I have to question these numbers. Nevertheless, it's obvious that, within the margin of error, the battle between Parnell and Young is a virtual tossup at this point.

And on August 8th, Sean Parnell got a small boost when he received the endorsement of Alaska Right To Life. The primary reason for their endorsement of Parnell was because he neither believes in embryonic stem cell research nor believes that abortions should be permitted in the case of rape and incest.

Congressman Don Young reacted to the announcement. He reiterated his opposition to elective abortion, but he believes Alaska Right To Life withheld their support because Young has supported stem cell research. He personally believes that stem cell research is essential for the future development of cures for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases. But Congressman Young also has not and will not support support human cloning. In addition he will not support the use of aborted babies or cloned human embryos in medical research. But he looks forward to working with Alaska Right To Life in the future. [Ed. Note: It's also possible that the fact that Don Young is under Federal investigation may have also deterred Alaska Right To Life from supporting him.]

On August 9th, KTUU reported that Sean Parnell also received endorsements from Sen. Gene Therriault, Rep. John Coghill, Sen. Gary Wilken and Rep. Mike Kelly.

Commentary: Apparently much of the Alaska public has not given up on Sean Parnell yet despite his lackluster performance in the KTUU debate. However, he has been wounded politically, and the Right To Life endorsement, marginal under normal circumstances, might be what's necessary to enable him to pull out a narrow victory on August 26th. Don Young's latest batch of ads acknowledge his imperfections, but play up his expertise in navigating Washington's Congressional maze. Parnell seems like he'd be lost there; Nancy Pelosi would chew him up and spit him out on Day One. Don Young still is the best person for the job.


  1. I'm gonna vote for Don Young.

  2. I made up my mind to support Don Young after the KTUU debate. Parnell may be O.K. as LiteGuv, but he'd be lost in Washington.

  3. Sean Parnell has no clue how to represent the people of Alaska. He shamelessly kisses up to the most anti-Alaska groups out there, like the Club for Growth, so that they will basically finance his campaign for him. 42% of his money so far has come from that one group - way too much influence for any one group to have over a legislator, especially when they are so violently anti-Alaska.

    Don Young may or may not have done something wrong, but he has always fought for Alaska and the needs of the Alaskan people. That's why he has Hero status in the bush communities and is feared by those in Congress who cross him. Personally, I'm sticking with Don.