Poll: Alaska Senate Race A Tie Between Miller And Murkowski

According to a new poll, the Senate race in Alaska is now a statistical dead heat between Republican nominee Joe Miller and Senator Lisa Murkowski:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Republican nominee Joe Miller are in a dead heat, according to the latest poll out of the Alaska Senate race.

Miller still leads the field with 35 percent of the vote, but Murkowski received 33 percent for her write-in bid — just inside the poll’s 2.4-point margin of error.

Democrat Scott McAdams received 26 percent of the vote, among 1,678 likely voters, according to the Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.

It’s the second survey in a row forecasting a tight race between Murkowski and Miller. A CNN/Time survey taken in late September showed Miller drawing 38 percent of the vote, Murkowski with 36 percent and McAdams with 22 percent.

As I’ve noted before, of course, polling a campaign where there’s a strong write-in campaign is inherently difficult, and it’s always worth paying attention to how the poll was conducted to see how valid it might be:

The PPP poll, taken Oct. 8-9, first asked about Miller, McAdams or whether respondents would pick another candidate, and 35 percent picked the latter. In a follow-up question, survey takers questioned the 35 percent on whom they would choose — but listed Murkowski’s name as an option, along with several little-known independent candidates. The poll, which was sponsored by the liberal website Daily Kos, figured that Murkowski has the support of 32 percent of voters overall.

Whether this is any better than the CNN/Time poll I wrote about last month is unclear, but at the very least it seems to indicate that there is a strong level of support for Murkowski’s candidacy. Whether that will translate itself into large numbers of people willing to take the extra effort to cast a write-in vote on Election Day is something we really won’t know until the votes are cast.

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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. Michael says:

    “Whether that will translate itself into large numbers of people willing to take the extra effort to cast a write-in vote on Election Day”…highly doubtful and this is a PPP poll…so take with a grain of salt.