August 9, 2006
New poll shows Sarah Palin with large lead over Binkley, Murkowski getting clobbered
Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman is not the only statewide incumbent who could lose his primary. Alaska's Republican Governor Frank Murkowski is also swept up in a blizzard of low poll numbers-to the extent that he has published full-page ads to admit that maybe he should "consider a personality transplant."
In the August 22 Republican primary Murkowski faces competition from businessman John Binkley and former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin. The Rasmussen Reports election poll shows Palin with 43%, Binkley with 30%, and Murkowski with 17% when likely voters consider a three-way match-up. Murkowski does badly with every group identified in the survey.
If the Governor survives the primary, he would then square off with former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles, who leads Murkowski 58% to 29% in our survey. Murkowski does better than Knowles among Republicans and conservatives in this match-up, but still trails badly with other groups.
Palin leads Knowles 51% to 38% in a general election match-up. Knowles would be more competitive against Binkley, who leads the Democrat 46% to 44%, a toss-up.
Only 27% view Governor Murkowski him favorably. Murkowski is viewed unfavorably by 72%, "very" unfavorably by 49%.
Palin is viewed favorably by 65%, Binkley by 57%, Knowles by 55%.
Forty-nine percent (49%) approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as President. Twenty-five percent (25%) approve of the job Frank Murkowski is doing as Governor. Only Ohio's Governor Taft has lower job approval ratings.
Fifty percent (50%) of Alaska voters agree that the political system is "badly broken." Although most Republicans are as unhappy with the governor as everybody else, only 36% of GOP voters accept that characterization, versus 67% of Democrats, 57% of unaffiliated voters.
The partisan divide matches what we have seen in other states. When Democrats are ascendant nationally, it's the Republicans who are more likely to say the political system is out of order.
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