Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hellenthal Poll Puts Sean Parnell, Lisa Murkowski, And Don Young On Top By Wide Margins; No Incentive For Parnell To Sacrifice Gene Therriault

Alaska Dispatch reveals the results of a poll of 318 likely Alaskan voters who declared themselves either Republican (47.3 percent of respondents) or non-partisan (52.7 percent) during the period July 22-25, 2010. The poll was conducted by Hellenthal & Associates of Anchorage. Both Republicans and non-partisans can vote in the closed Alaska Republican primary on August 24th.

Hellenthal's verdict - if the primary was held today, Sean Parnell, Lisa Murkowski, and Don Young would win by wide margins. These three principals also lead their respective races in fund-raising as well. Read the raw poll data HERE; a Microsoft Word-compatible word processor is necessary to view it.

(1). U.S. Senate:
-- Lisa Murkowski: 69.0 percent
-- Joe Miller: 27.9 percent
-- Don't Know: 3.1 percent

Analysis: A previous Ivan Moore poll which showed Murkowski leading Miller by 32 points was characterized as "garbage" by the Miller campaign because of Moore's Democratic associations. Marc Hellenthal has no such partisan associations, yet this poll shows Murkowski leading by 41 points. How will the Miller campaign explain this one?

Hellenthal says that it will not be enough for Miller to pick up Undecided voters; he's got to go after Murkowski voters as well. He suggests Miller will have to go negative.

(2). U.S. House:
-- Don Young: 61.8 percent
-- Sheldon Fisher: 33.8 percent
-- Don't Know: 4.4 percent

Analysis: The breakouts indicate that while most of Young's support is "Moderate", most of Fisher's support is "Strong". This means that Sheldon Fisher has developed a core of diehard supporters, while most of Don Young's supporters will vote for him more out of a "sense of duty", primarily because of his seniority.

(3). Governor:
-- Sean Parnell: 60.3 percent
-- Bill Walker: 14.7 percent
-- Ralph Samuels: 13.1 percent
-- Don't Know: 11.9 percent

Analysis: A previous poll by DRM Market Research in May 2010 showed Parnell with 57 percent, Ralph Samuels with 9 percent, and Bill Walker with 7 percent. Two different polls, two different pollsters, similar results. This implies that although Republican opposition to Parnell is noisy, it is not widespread. This also means that Parnell could choose to circle the wagons around Gene Therriault without fear of electoral reprisal on August 24th. Update July 29th: The Therriault situation is now redundant; he has resigned.

(4). Lieutenant Governor:
-- Jay Ramras: 29.3 percent
-- Mead Treadwell: 22.6 percent
-- Eddie Burke: 11.5 percent
-- Don't Know: 36.6 percent

Analysis: The percentage of undecideds is still too high to project a finish with any degree of certainty, although the order of presentation above is likely to be the order of finish. Eddie Burke's exposure of Mead Treadwell as a RINO will likely be enough to prevent Treadwell from winning. One thing we can say for Jay Ramras; at least he doesn't pretend to be something he's not.

Hellenthal said the poll was paid for by someone with particular interest in the Senate race, although it was not one of the candidates. The poll cost that client $3,000, said Hellenthal, who then approached candidates in the lieutenant governor and U.S. representative races to say that for $1,000 each, he'd include them in the poll too. At least one candidate from each of those races accepted Hellenthal's offer. Gov. Parnell's campaign approached Hellenthal and asked to buy in, and their $1,000 rounded out the $6,000 the firm made on the poll.

Hellenthal & Associates is considered the number four pollster in Alaska behind Dave Dittman, Ivan Moore, and Hays Research Associates. While reasonably accurate, one of Hellenthal's previous polls seriously backfired. In May 2006, a Hellenthal poll showed John Binkley leading Sarah Palin in the Alaska Republican gubernatorial primary race by three percentage points although competing polls showed Palin up by as much as 16 points. Palin, of course, won.

1 comment:

  1. 52 percent is a bit under representative of undeclared and non partisan voters who traditionally make up 70 percent of most districts. i would like to see the polls that are not made public.

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