Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hays Research Poll Shows Lisa Murkowski Leading And Joe Miller Skidding To Third Place In The Alaska U.S. Senate Race; Hellenthal Poll Gives Murkowski 14-Point Lead

Hays Research Group has now posted the full results of their newest poll on their website, although a number other sources, to include Politico and HuffPo (with some interesting analysis in the Washington Post), previously reported on it. The Hays poll of 500 likely voters conducted October 25-26, 2010, and paid for by IBEW Local 1547 which has endorsed Scott McAdams, indicate that the real Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Joe Miller, is nose-diving as a result of the combined effect of the character assassination campaign against him along with his own public relations missteps. The beneficiaries are RINO Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams. The specific numbers:

-- Write-In Candidate (presumably Lisa Murkowski): 34 percent
-- Scott McAdams: 29 percent
-- Joe Miller: 23 percent
-- Undecided: 13 percent

But while it may look like a substantial slide for Miller when compared to other polls, the results of Hays' own recurring polling, shown in this crosstab, indicates it's not as bad as it looks. On October 22nd, the numbers were Murkowski 31 percent, Miller 26 percent, and McAdams 25 percent. On October 18th, Murkowski had 32 percent, McAdams 25 percent, and Miller 23 percent. It was actually back on October 6th that the numbers were significantly different; at that time, Hays had Murkowski and Miller in a dead heat at 31 percent each, followed by McAdams at 16 percent. Thus the big drop in Miller's support actually occurred sometime between October 6th and October 18th. The big gainer is Scott McAdams, who's picked up 13 percent since October 6th. Another crosstab from the Hays poll does not portend well for Joe Miller; it shows his Very Unfavorable rating rocketing from 38 percent on October 6th to 60 percent today; his Very Favorable rating is only 17 percent.

Update: Hellenthal has since released the results of their own poll of 400 likely voters from October 25-27, commissioned by Alaskans Standing Together, a Murkowski front group. They also show Lisa Murkowski in the lead:

-- Lisa Murkowski: 43.5 percent
-- Joe Miller: 29.1 percent
-- Scott McAdams: 22.7 percent

What happened? It was actually the October 17th dustup between Alaska Dispatch reporter Tony Hopfinger and Miller's security team that triggered the big slide in Miller's popularity. The latest batch of e-mails which revealed that Joe Miller had temporarily lied after accessing other computers at the Fairbanks Borough office where he worked in 2008 seems to have had only an anecdotal effect. What hurts Miller in the latter case is not that he was improperly using office computers, but that he stonewalled until the e-mails were released. This is similar in context to the Watergate situation; what turned Watergate into a crisis was not the burglary, but the stonewalling.

Nevertheless, Sarah Palin hasn't given up on Joe Miller. Palin not only continues to stand behind Miller, but plans to appear at a major campaign rally in Anchorage on October 28th from 7-9 P.M. at the Dena’ina Center. Palin's sense of loyalty is gratifying.

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