New Rasmussen Reports poll says Sarah Palin over Tony Knowles by 14%

Coming off the heels of her pronounced victory in the Republican primary against incumbent Frank Murkowski, Sarah Palin (R) is readily handling her next round of competition-former Governor Tony Knowles (D)-in her bid to become Alaska's next governor. The latest Rasmussen Reports election survey shows Palin leading Knowles 52% to 38%.

Sarah Palin

These numbers are virtually unchanged from last month's potential head-to-head match up (51% to 38%). That poll was taken before Palin won the primary to become the official Republican candidate.

The Knowles camp is no doubt disappointed that Murkowski will not be around to defend his job. August's pre-primary poll showed Knowles leading the soon-to-be-former governor 58% to 29%. The race now might means another tough November for Knowles, who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Frank's daughter, in 2004.

Tony Knowles

Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents report having a "very favorable" opinion of Palin. Twenty-five percent (25%) say the same for Knowles. At the other end of the spectrum, Palin earns "very unfavorable" scores from just 6% of voters surveyed versus 17% for Knowles.

Voters tend to see both candidates as politically moderate-51% hold that view of Palin (51%) and 45% see Knowles in that way. Forty-four percent (44%) say Knowles is liberal while 37% say Palin's conservative.

When asked whom they trust more on matters relating to national security and the war in Iraq, 50% choose President Bush and 39% choose the Democrats in Congress. The president also comes out on top when the question turns to the economy, though by a smaller margin, 46% to 41%. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided on both questions.

Forty-four percent (44%) believe the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terror; 28% say the terrorists are winning; and 26% say neither side has the advantage.

Outgoing Governor Murkowski will end his long political career on a down note. Just 5% of voters "strongly approve" of his stewardship while 54% "strongly disapprove."

From Rasmussen