Alaska: Poll Shows Another Tough Year for Young

Posted January 5, 2009 at 5:54pm

Recent survey results show longtime Rep. Don Young (R) could be in for another tough re-election race in 2010.

A Research 2000 poll gave Young a 6-point lead over Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell in a hypothetical 2010 GOP primary matchup, 33 percent to 27 percent. State Speaker John Harris (R) scored 11 percent in the survey, although he has yet to publicly express interest a primary bid.

Young defeated Parnell by 304 votes in the 2008 GOP primary. The lieutenant governor also has not said yet whether he is interested in running again for the at-large seat.

In a general election matchup, Young led former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D), 49 percent to 46 percent. In a December phone interview with Roll Call, Berkowitz said he was considering a second bid against Young in 2010. Every public poll in 2008 gave Berkowitz a solid lead, but Young pulled out a surprising 7-point win on Election Day.

The survey also showed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin trouncing Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a hypothetical GOP gubernatorial primary, 55 percent to 31 percent. Palin has not publicly expressed interest in running for Murkowski’s seat.

State Sen. Hollis French is often mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for governor, along with former Gov. Tony Knowles, who lost to Murkowski in 2004 and to Palin in 2006. Knowles and Hollis trailed Murkowski and Palin in hypothetical matchups in the poll.

The liberal Web site Daily Kos paid for the poll, which sampled 400 GOP primary voters from Dec. 15-17 and had a margin of error of 4.9 points. The general election surveys polled 600 likely voters and had a margin of error of 4 points.