Murkowski Write-In Bid Has Little Impact On Alaska Senate Race

The first poll taken after Lisa Murkowski announced her intention to run as a write-in candidate seems to indicate that Republican Joe Miller has very little to worry about:

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.

In the last poll, Miller led McAdams 50% to 44% so, clearly, Murkowski is hurting the Democratic candidate far more than she’s hurting her former Republican rival.

So far, Murkowski’s write-in bid is looking like little more than an exercise in pure vanity.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tano says:

    Once again, you are such a sucker for GOP propaganda. It is far too early for this race to settle out – no one imagined they would have a three way choice until just this week – so this is one stab at estimating a race that has been thrown up in the air, and not yet landed.
    Rasmussen’s moving it to solid republican is simply an attempt to effect the narrative around the race. There are so many things that might happen here. The McAdams supporters who switched to Murkowski, presumably because she is in the news a lot now, or maybe because they think she is the better shot at defeating Miller – maybe they will go back to McAdams. Or maybe McAdams’s support will further collapse and his supporters will rally behind Murkowski. There is an entire campaign to be run…
    One thing for sure that these polls illustrate – that Miller’s support is soft once it gets past the low 40s. Who knows – maybe his erosion is still ongoing.  And thats before the Dems even begin to campaign against him. Heck, Lisa didn’t even do all that much against him either. There is a lot of shakin’ out to do on this one before anyone can get a good sense of how it will play out.

  2. Tano,

    Hold me to this one if you so choose

    1. Joe Miller will win in November

    2. Murkowski will receive a smaller percentage of the vote in Alaska than Charlie Crist receives in Florida