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Election 2010: Alaska Senate

Republican Joe Miller attracts 42% of the vote in the first Rasmussen Reports poll of the Alaska Senate race since GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski announced her write-in campaign to try to keep her job. The telephone survey of Likely Voters in Alaska shows Murkowski picking up 27% of the vote and Democrat Scott McAdams earning 25%. One percent (1%) say they’d prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. This race now moves from Leans GOP to Solid GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings. Miller, fueled by an endorsement from former Governor Sarah Palin and by strong Tea Party support, was the upset winner over Murkowski in the Alaska Republican Primary in late August. Despite pleas from the GOP national establishment to accept the primary’s verdict, Murkowksi announced a write-in campaign late last Friday. Polling for write-in campaigns is always challenging, so results should be interpreted with caution. For this survey, Rasmussen Reports asked respondents about a choice between Miller and McAdams without mentioning Murkowski. That is the choice voters will see when they enter the voting booth. However, when response options were offered to survey respondents, Murkowski’s name was mentioned. Miller picks up a solid majority of Republican voters, while McAdams wins most Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, the three candidates are essentially even. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Miller’s voters say they’re sure they will vote for him and won’t change their minds before Election Day. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Murkowski’s voters say the same, as do 66% of McAdams voters. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Alaska was conducted on September 19, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. Rasmussen Reports will release new numbers from Alaska’s gubernatorial race tomorrow. Alaska trends strongly Republican, so a split in the GOP vote gives McAdams a better-than-usual chance. Overall, Murkowski’s favorable ratings (55%) are higher than Miller’s (45%). Among Republican voters, however, Miller’s ratings are higher than Murkowski’s – by a 69% to 52% margin. Thirty-six percent (36%) of Alaska voters have a favorable opinion of McAdams. Miller is viewed unfavorably by 51%, Murkowski by 44% and McAdams by 46%. Miller and Murkowski are both well-known to voters in the state, but 18% don’t know enough about their Democratic opponent to voice any kind of opinion of him. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Alaska voters favor repeal of the new national health care law, while 38% oppose repeal. This is in line with voter sentiments nationallyand includes 50% who Strongly Favor repeal and 29% who are Strongly Opposed. Seventy-six percent (76%) of the larger group who Strongly Favor repeal support Miller, while 63% of those who are Strongly Opposed back McAdams. Fifty percent (50%) of all voters in the state believe repeal of the health care law will be good for the economy. Twenty-three percent (23%) say it would be bad for the economy. Most voters in Alaska favor an immigration law like Arizona’s in their own state and even more strongly support government sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants. Alaska voters are slightly more supportive of President Obama’s proposed new $50 billion federal jobs program for transportation infrastructure than voters arenationally. But 62% still believe that cutting taxes is a better way to create jobs that increased government spending. When it comes to economic issues, Republicans are trusted more than Democrats by nearly 20 points. The GOP is also trusted more on health care and government corruption but by smaller margins. Forty-two percent (42%) of Alaska voters approve of the job the president is doing, but 59% disapprove. This is roughly comparable to the president’s job approval ratings nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. READ THE FULL STORY

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