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Poll: Palin Leading Among Alaska Republicans, Losing To Begich In Head-To-Head Race

Sarah-Palin-Speaking-Red-Jacket

Just a few weeks ago, I noted that Sarah Palin had started hinting that she might consider throwing her hat in the ring to challenge Mark Begich for Alaska’s Senate seat in 2014. While I remain doubtful that she would actually get into the race for the reasons I discussed in that post, a new poll shows that she’d be a viable candidate to win the Repubican nomination, but that she’d likely lose to Begich in a General Election:

Alaska should be a top tier pick up opportunity for Senate Republicans next year…but their top choice of a candidate is Sarah Palin. 36% of GOP primary voters in the state say they’d like Palin to be their standard bearer against Mark Begich to 26% for Mead Treadwell, 15% for Dan Sullivan, and 12% for Joe Miller. Palin leads mostly based on her strength with ‘very conservative’ voters where she gets 43% to 20% for Treadwell, but she also leads him 28/25 with moderates.

The problem for Republicans with a Palin candidacy is that even though she is in good standing with the party base, voters overall don’t like her at all. She has a 39/58 favorability rating, including 33/64 with key independent voters. There’s a lot of division about how strong her ties to the state even are anymore- only 47% of voters consider her to still be an Alaskan while 46% don’t, and 37% of voters in the state think it would be more appropriate for her to run for the Senate from Arizona to 41% who say Alaska.

It all adds up to a 52/40 lead for Begich in a hypothetical match up with Palin. He leads by 21 points with independents, 56/35, and takes 20% of the Republican vote. It’s a slight improvement for Palin from February when we found her trailing Begich 54/38, but she’s very much in a hole.

The best Republican hope for this seat is Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and the good news for the GOP is that if Palin sits it out he, and not 2010 nominee Joe Miller, is the next choice of the party base. In a three way primary Treadwell gets 33% to 25% for Sullivan and 24% for Miller. And in a head to head with Miller, Treadwell leads 53/30. Even among Republican primary voters Miller has a dreadful 26/53 favorability rating.

Treadwell still trails Begich, but only by a 44/40 margin. That’s narrowed from 47/39 on our February poll. Treadwell has a +6 favorability rating at 35/29 and has room to grow with 36% of voters still not knowing enough about him to have formed an opinion.

If she runs, which is still a very big if I’d submit, a Palin victory in a General Election would still be possible, of course. Given how Republican Alaska tends to be, the fact that Begich won in 2008 thanks largely to the prosecution of then-Senator Ted Stevens and a prosecution that was ultimately dismissed, and the fact that several big name conservatives (Ted Cruz comes to mind) would likely come to Alaska to campaign on her behalf, it’s certainly something that I’d say is impossible. Nonetheless, Palin’s negatives in what is supposed to be her home state are high enough that I’d guess that she’s the candidate that the Begich campaign would most like to face at the moment. I still don’t think she’ll run, mostly because I just don’t see Sarah Palin relegating herself to being one voice out of 100 in the Senate and a junior voice at that, but you’d have to admit that it would be entertaining if she did, and perhaps the first time in a long time that the media actually paid attention to a Senate race in Alaska.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. PJ says:

    Palin will never run, she’s too lazy, and being a grifter pays more.
    She’ll continue to fake run for President, Senator, and some day even dog catcher, just so that she’ll be in the news…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  2. CSK says:

    She won’t run. It’s too much work, as is actually being in the senate itself. But I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulled the same stunt as she did in 2011: to wit, she’ll lead her base to believe she’s running (they don’t need much encouragement) till the last moment, then have Sarahpac put out a plea for contributions to “help her make up her mind,” and the next day announce that she’s not running.

    Her most ardent fans don’t want her to go for the senate anyway. They still think they’ll be attending the swearing-in of President Palin in January 2017.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  3. michael reynolds says:

    She’d be better off in the House – their terms are only two years, so she could quit halfway through that and be out in one.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  4. Mark Ivey says:

    Grifters gotta grift…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Anyone notify Katie Couric yet?

    Also, I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but ….
    Thank you, John McCain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. anjin-san says:

    Eight out of ten Alaskans would pay $20 for a lap dance from Palin…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  7. legion says:

    @PJ: I think she would run if she thought it was the only way to keep the spotlight on her. And hell, if the GOP will give Sanford another chance, there’s no reason they won’t be gullible enough to vote for Palin again too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Caj says:

    If Alaskans want dimwit Sarah Palin they are more stupid than I thought. Guess that’s what happens when you live in the frozen north, your brains never thaw out and you get stuck on stupid!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. CB says:

    Is everybody else scared, too? I’ve been told that I’m supposed to be afraid of Sarah Palin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  10. C. Clavin says:

    With Michelle Bachmann being pushed out there is room in the ding-bat caucus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Tillman says:

    I’m still willing to donate twenty bucks and start a petition urging signatories to do the same if she forms a third party for “conservatives” like her, if only to spare what remains of the good name of the Republican party.

    Sarah can do it, yes she can!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. LC says:

    but you’d have to admit that it would be entertaining if she did, and perhaps the first time in a long time that the media actually paid attention to a Senate race in Alaska.

    you mean since 2008?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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