Friday, July 16, 2010

Lisa Murkowski Has Huge Advantage Over Joe Miller In Both Funding And Polling In Alaska Republican Senate Race

On July 16th, 2010, the Anchorage Daily News reports that incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski enjoys a 20-1 advantage in campaign funding over Republican challenger Joe Miller. While Murkowski reports that she had nearly $2.4 million in her campaign bank account as of the start of July, Joe Miller has only about $125,000. The advantage isn't just cumulative, either; Murkowski has brought in over a half million dollars from her donors between April 1 and June 30. Miller entered the race in late April, so Murkowski's also been outpacing him since that time. It should also be noted that 58 percent of Murkowski's total campaign money for this election has come from political action committees, meaning that her campaign is hardly a "grass-roots" effort.

The Tea Party Express group is promising to narrow the money gap before the August 24th Republican primary election, saying it plans to spend a sizable amount that could approach $1 million to support Miller. The group began this week with what it said was a $100,000 radio ad campaign for Miller. Listen to it below:

But they better get cracking quickly, because Murkowski also has a huge advantage in polling. Back in April, pollster Dave Dittman took a scientific poll in which he asked the question, "Looking ahead to this year’s election for U.S. Senate, do you feel U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has been doing a good enough job for Alaska to deserve re-election, or should she be replaced?". Among Republicans only, 75 percent said she deserved re-election, 18 percent said No, and 7 percent Unsure.

Although there have been no subsequent scientific polls, KIMO Channel 13 is running an unscientific poll asking people who they prefer. As of this post, 78 percent prefer Murkowski vs. only 22 percent for Miller (since changed dramatically). But while the specific numbers can be disputed, the trend clearly showed at the time that Lisa Murkowski still owns a huge advantage over Joe Miller. Here are some possible reasons:

(1). Seniority. Lisa Murkowski in number 59 on the U.S. Senate seniority list.

(2). Opportunism. Lisa Murkowski has been systematically re-inventing herself, incrementally co-opting Joe Miller's positions one by one. Despite earning a grade of "C-" on immigration from Numbers USA, she now says she's opposed to amnesty for illegals. More recently, she expressed public regret over having voted for the first TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) bill. It's not a bad thing if Lisa Murkowski "re-invents" herself, so long as she stays "re-invented" after the election.

(3). Electability: Lisa Murkowski could defeat Democrat Scott McAdams in November much easier than Joe Miller, although I think Miller could squeak by McAdams.

(4). State Legislative Support: While 20 Republicans in the Alaska State Legislature have endorsed Murkowski, only Senator John Coghill, Senator Fred Dyson, Rep. Tammie Wilson, and Rep. Wes Keller endorsed Miller.

(5). Distractions: Joe Miller has allowed himself to get sidetracked by some petty distractions. Both Andrew Halcro and the Anchorage Daily Planet have been nickel-and-diming him over what type of judge he was, and the precise circumstances of his departure from a prior job as an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough. While Miller says he resigned, Andrew Halcro claims Miller was fired (Halcro is an unabashed supporter of Murkowski). The Fairbanks Borough has documents which would clarify the issue, but they've been sandbagging them, and won't release them until July 20th at the earliest. Update: Since this post, Joe Miller has now released a copy of the resignation letter showing that he left the job voluntarily, so this puts this issue to bed.

Update July 19th: The KIMO unscientific poll now shows a dramatic reversal; 72 percent for Miller vs. 28 percent for Murkowski. Such a dramatic swing implies the poll mechanism is defective; it cannot be used as a reliable political barometer.

Of course, with five weeks remaining until the August 24th primary, it is possible for Joe Miller to come back. After all, in less than one month down in Arizona, John McCain has gone from 11 points up to 45 points up on J.D. Hayworth. But all Lisa Murkowski really needs to do to win is basically run out the clock; it's up to Miller to come up the Hail Mary plays necessary to open up holes in Murkowski's defense.


  1. Murkowski's controversial support of senate bill 881, the "Sealaska lands bill" flies in the face of her constituents, being opposed by communities, biologists, agency officials, fishermen, sportsmen, and more. Though this bill alone many eyes have been opened to her single-interest "representation" and her spin and private political agenda.

    Her "reinventing" herself at this late stage is laughable.

    Joe Miller comes across as very smart, sensible, credible, and a straight talker who will listen to ALL Alaskans. He's more interested in the state of the state and the state of the country than his own political agenda and corporate buddies. For all her "big money" and corporate contributions, Lisa Murkowski is in for a big surprise when THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA vote her out and vote Joe in.

    People are learning more about Joe Miller, and everyone I've talked to likes what they're learning. The more I learn about Joe Miller, the more convinced I am that he is the RIGHT CHOICE for our next US Senator! JOE MILLER for SENATE!

  2. Murkowski supports the Sealaska Land bill as does Don Young and Mark Begich. Why? Because the federal government ripped off Southeast Natives because enviromentalists refused to give up Tongass Forest Land in the 1980's. Now the time to pay up and put hands in "private" hands. This is as American as apple pie. Why Joe Miller and his racist click is against giving federal land to private interests who by law are owed this land is silly as it is sad for someone who supposedly has a law degree.
    Joe Miller has support from the Tea Party Express, the KKK arm of the Tea Party that has now been outcast the the legitimate members of the Tea Party.
    He has sold his soul for the media money promised. Another two bit wannabe politician going for vote pandering rather than demonstrating leadership and standing on principles.
    Murkowski has common sense and seniority, Miller has the KKK. Choice is clear.

  3. The Saul Alinsky "Republicans" are at it again I see. Murkowski and her sleaze-mongers need to stand up and talk about the real issues. But obviously, nothing makes them more uncomfortable than talking about the votes the Senator has actually cast. They would rather sling mud and peddle slander and innuendo.
    How about we talk about TARP, Amnesty, Cap and Trade, Eric Holder, etc.?
    Murkowski wants no part of dealing with what she does and says in Washington. Instead she brings massive amounts of special interest money from Washington into Alaska to do a con-job on voters. She is a fraud!