New polling numbers released by Ivan Moore’s firm Alaska Survey Research give us an idea where statewide elected officials stand heading into this fall’s elections.
According to Moore the polling uses the following parameters:
“Latest June Alaska Survey numbers… 750 sample, fielded June 16-20, margin of error +/- 3.6%”
Now, anytime we publish local polling data we hear the predictable palaver of “That pollster is never right” or “Their numbers are no good.” It doesn’t matter if it is Dittman Research, Hayes Research, Moore’s Alaska Survey Research, or someone else’s work, that is what is going to be said.
Let us save you the effort. These are the numbers as they have been reported. We find value in these number in that they are a consistent track and polling model over time. If you don’t like the pollster, then don’t look at the numbers.
Senator Dan Sullivan
Sen. Sullivan isn’t on the ballot for another four years so his numbers aren’t as much a concern as Sen. Murkowski’s or Rep. Young’s are, but they are still interesting to ponder.
According to Moore’s numbers, Sullivan’s positive rating has been steadily eroding since reaching a peak of 47% 9 months ago. He is now back down under 40% to 39%.
Sullivan will have to address this continuing decline, but with over four years until election day, he has time.
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Lisa is on the ballot this year. Her positive number saw a sharp uptick from 49% approval to 55%. Her negative and neutral numbers each dropped slightly.
Being above 50% with an upward track only 6 weeks away from election day is a very good position for an incumbent to find themselves in. If she didn’t before, she now looks as close to invulnerable as she reasonably could be.
While there is no nothing in the numbers to answer the question, one has to wonder if her sharp uptick might have had something to do with Mayor Dan Sullivan jumping into the race against her just two weeks before the poll went into the field? Is it possible the upturn in her numbers was from voters facing the process of having to choose between the two?
Rep. Don Young
Young’s numbers improved, but still don’t look good. He moved from a 37% to a 41% positive and his negative dropped from 37% to 35%.
Having a negative rating that close to a positive rating is generally bad, even disastrous news for an incumbent. Young has been here before, however, and always seems to pull out reelection anyway. Don’t count him out this time, either.
Governor Bill Walker
Maybe the most interesting of Moore’s new numbers. Gov. Walker has had a tough six months, fighting for major policy changes with oil companies and the Legislature alike.
These numbers come right in between the close of the Legislature’s special session and the Governor’s announcement of vetoes to oil and gas tax credit payments, capital projects, and PFD disbursements.
In this set of numbers, the Governor fares decently. His positive number is only 43%, down from 51% a year ago, but his negative number is still only 23%.
It will be interesting to see where the Governor sits in Moore’s next quarterly numbers, as the impacts of the PFD cuts fully set in. Will voters reward him for being the adult in the room or will they blame him for being the grinch that stole their PFD?
We’ll have to wait to see.