Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rasmussen Poll Shows Ted Stevens Leading Mark Begich By One Point; Governor Sarah Palin's Popularity Continues To Slide, Albeit More Slowly

On October 7th, 2008, the Anchorage Daily News' Alaska Politics blog reports on a new Rasmussen poll and a new Ivan Moore poll as well.

The Rasmussen poll shows incumbent Republican Senator Ted Stevens taking a narrow lead over Democratic challenger Mark Begich, 49 to 48 percent, representing a small gain over the previous poll. Rasmussen also displays the results of its previous polls of this race on their website.

While this is good news for those of us who support Stevens, it should also be noted that the margin of error could put it either way. In addition, the poll shows that Stevens' support is more shallow than Begich's support. Begich is viewed favorably by 59 percent and unfavorably by 36 percent, while Stevens' ratings are 54 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.

Ted Stevens continues to enjoy a sympathy bounce resultant from his politically-motivated Federal prosecution. It's becoming obvious even to anti-Stevens partisans that the trial is becoming a witch hunt. The prosecution has already been formally admonished twice by the judge, the so-called "smoking gun" tape was exposed as inconclusive, and now the latest controversy has been triggered by the allegation that star prosecution witness Bill Allen has been getting signals from Anchorage attorney Robert Bundy, who was sitting in the gallery.

Another pertinent development is that Alaska's self-proclaimed right-wing ethics watchdog Wev Shea (the conservative version of Ray Metcalfe) posted a couple of comments to this Voice Of The Times commentary strongly supporting Ted Stevens and proclaiming faith in Stevens' fundamental integrity. Considering that Shea, a former U.S. Attorney for Alaska who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004, has a reputation for being a fanatic about ethics, this is a powerful character reference on behalf of Stevens, assuming of course that it was the real Wev Shea who posted the comment and not an imposter.

The same Rasmussen poll shows that Governor Sarah Palin's approval rating continues to skid, now down to 62 percent. That's based on a survey of 500 likely Alaska voters.

In addition, Anchorage pollster Ivan Moore released new results today, showing a slide in Governor Palin's ratings. Her positive-to-negative numbers dropped 3 percentage points in the past two weeks, to 65-30, Moore wrote, compared to 68-27 in late September and 82-13 just after McCain chose her as his running mate. That's based on an Oct. 3-6 poll of 500 likely Alaska voters.

But note that the rate of Palin's decline appears to be slowing. This could be attributable to a change of tactics by the Palin camp in responding to Troopergate. Instead of circling the wagons and stonewalling, the Palin camp is now cautiously opening up and tentatively cooperating with the Branchflower investigation. On October 6th, the Anchorage Daily News reported that Attorney General Talis Colberg announced that seven state employees will now honor subpoenas to testify in the Branchflower investigation of the Troopergate affair. In addition, Todd Palin will answer a series of questions from Steve Branchflower by midweek, albeit only in writing, and with the answers screened by his lawyer. Todd should cooperate more fully, but at least it's a start.

It appears that at long last, Sarah Palin is beginning to understand the implications of Troopergate. She undoubtedly realizes that, with McCain trailing in the polls, there's a good chance she will return as governor after November 4th. She wants to be able to govern successfully thereafter. Her "Palinbot" base remains secure, but her support among progressives has seriously eroded, and the state legislature will no longer be the "rubber stamp" that it has been.

1 comment:

  1. I used to make fun of states like Louisiana because of their tolerance for political corruption. Now I realize we're absolutely the same. Politicians can get away with murder as long as they buy us off with pork-barrel earmarks and "energy rebates." God bless America.