In case the polling preceding Mark Begich’s overwhelming victory sqeak-out over Ted Stevens did not affirm this truism, a current — albeit absurd — poll pitting incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski against a pitbull Sarah Palin proves once and for all that Alaska polling is, well, extremely fucked up.
Lisa Murkowski had better hope that Sarah Palin doesn’t elect to run for the Senate in 2010. That’s because a Research 2000 poll conducted two weeks ago for Daily Kos has Murkowski trailing Palin 55-31 among Republican primary voters.
Sarah Palin had better not be so foolish as to challenge Lisa Murkowski. That’s because a Dittman Research poll for the local blog The Alaska Standard shows her losing to Murkowski 58-31 in a prospective primary matchup.
It doesn’t take a guru like Nate Silver to explain this one though; turns out the poll was conducted by a committed Murkowski-phile who makes a habit of posting anti-Palin screeds. The maxim that anything goes in Alaska politics, however, is clearly as robust as ever.
(image from flickr user Alaska Youth for Environmental Action under a Creative Commons license)
When I wrote that “Sarah Palin’s coattails of corruption” were helping incumbent Senator lawbreaker Ted Stevens in Alaska, I was, naturally, expressing disappointment. The Wall Street Journal, though, finds an even better reason to lament celebrate Palin’s notoriously expensive coattails: Congressman Don Young, earmarker extraordinaire and the original architect of the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.
While the actual counting of ballots in Alaska appears to have Stevens headed out the door — and hopefully straight to jail without passing “Go” — Young’s malfeasance will be rewarded with another two years of hauling pork to his waiting constituents. Palin’s presence on the ballot did probably help bring out more Republican voters in Alaska, but the implication that the 18-term Young is better equipped to funnel money into the state also assuredly played a large role in his re-election.
The WSJ editorial focuses on the wonders that Palin’s popularity as governor did for the other two GOP candidates, but really, these two factors — Palin’s popularity and the promise of pork — are inextricably linked. Palin is popular in Alaska precisely because she was able to send checks to every citizen; Young’s continued run in Congress is premised on his ability to do an only slightly less literal version of exactly the same thing.
(photo from flickr user smiteme under a Creative Commons license)