Miller Now Leads in Alaska Poll: Palin Power?
A new poll shows Joe Miller, the Tea Party favorite who has the GOP nomination whose poll numbers went south after several highly publicized negative incidents, now back on top. And he’s back on top after former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin rallied to his defense.
If Miller wins it’ll be yet another sign of what is emerging as Palin power: when candidates are said to be disfavored by the GOP establishment, Palin has often rallies to their defense — and the result has often been a victory for the insurgent. The latest poll:
Apparently, predictions of Joe Miller’s (R) collapse in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race are premature: A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Miller still leading the race with 37%, followed by Scott McAdams (D) at 30% and Lisa Murkowski at 30%.
Key finding: “Miller is winning despite having the worst personal favorability numbers of the three candidates. Only 36% have a positive opinion of him while 59% view him in a negative light. McAdams is by far the most popular with 50% rating him favorably to only 30% with an unfavorable one. Voters aren’t very enamored with Murkowski either, giving her a 37/53 approval rating.”
This latest twist of Miller seemingly rising from the political dead after Palin sprang to his defense online and in speeches, comes amid rising signs that the GOP after its expected huge win on Wednesday and the inevitable high fives and victory laps could fall into a quiet — and perhaps not so quiet — civil war.
The opening salvo came from GOP establishment maven and big bucks dispenser Karl Rove, who dissed chances as a serious candidate. Next came a report that the GOP establishment was going to do all they could to undermine and short-circuit Palin since there were growing fears that she would seek — and win — the Republican nomination and be a fiasco in a general election. The latest: RNC Chair Michael Steele — perhaps sensing where the GOP’s real power will be as it moves into the 21st century — has called on Palin’s critics to “shut up.”
Miller’s victory would be seen as exactly what it is: a candidate who won despite opposition from the GOP establishment in the primaries, despite terrible press (created by himself), despite rumblings that the GOP establishment was now rooting for Murkowski — and with the considerable support of Palin. With all of this, perhaps those who insist Palin could not win a general election might re-do their calculations or they will wake up one day hearing her take the oath of office.