Saturday, February 8, 2014

The other elections in Alaska

Beside having a Senate election in 9 months, Alaska voters will have a gubernatorial election and vote for their at-large representative for Congress.  We'll deal with the easy election, first.

Congressman Don Young (46% approve, 39% disapprove) is running for re-election in the state.  He is one of the most popular politicians in the state and is running against Matt Moore, a Democratic candidate and Jim McDermott, a libertarian candidate. Moore ran for the Democratic nomination for the seat in 2012 but lost in the Democratic primary to Sharon Cissna who was only able to get 29% of the vote in 2012.  McDermott ran in 2012 against Young and Cissna but was only able to get 5% of the vote in the general election.

2014 doesn't seem to be shaking out much better for Moore or McDermott.  Public Policy Polling (PPP) found Young right at the critical 50% marker.  See the table below for the results.

Don Young
50
Matt Moore
22
Jim McDermott
12
Not sure
16

Moore could potentially make this a contest, if a) he can convince more Democratic voters to vote for him, right now he's at 54% with Democratic voters and needs to be closer to 80% and b) pick up McDermott's share of independent voters, or pick off some of the independent Young supporters and make headway into those who declare themselves to be not sure, currently sitting 21% and needs to get to about 40%.  Moore has about 9 months to do that.  Right now, it looks like a blowout, but it will probably get a little closer as we get to election day.  But barring some unforeseen mishap, Young will be re-elected this year. 

The other main election happening in Alaska is the gubernatorial election.  Incumbent governor Sean Parnell (44/41) is running for re-election.  He's facing a strong challenge from oilman Bill Walker, who is running as an independent after running for governor in 2010 as a Republican, and the former mayor of Juneau, Democratic candidate Byron Mallott (21/16).  Additionally, the founder of the Alaska Constitution Party is running, as well, J.R. Myers.  The match-up doesn't look very close because the anti-Parnell votes are being split among three candidates.

Sean Parnell
41
Byron Mallott
25
J.R. Myers
3
Bill Walker
16
Not sure
15

What I want to do is see where Walker's support is coming from.  So, I am going to look at the cross-tab for political parties, first.


Democrat
Republican
Independent/Other
Sean Parnell
17
65
33
Byron Mallott
54
5
27
J.R. Myers
2
4
2
Bill Walker
7
17
20
Not sure
20
10
17

I expected almost all of Myers's support to be from those who identify as independents, because he is, you know, the founder of a third party in Alaska.  But that was not entirely the case.  

I'm also going to look at the ideology cross-tabs to look for where his support is coming from.


Very Liberal
Somewhat Liberal
Moderate
Somewhat Conservative
Very Conservative
Sean Parnell
15
19
28
58
66
Byron Mallott
57
55
34
5
1
J.R. Myers
4
1
4
2
3
Bill Walker
5
11
18
24
13
Not sure
20
15
16
11
17

Parnell is all set to win.  If he can maintain 60+% of the Republican vote and ~30+% of the Independent vote, and 10+% of the Democratic vote, it will be very improbable for Mallott to be able to win the election. 

For Mallott to win, in this situation where Parnell drops to 60% of Republicans, 30% independent vote, and 10% of the Democratic vote, he would need to improve to 70+% of the Democratic vote, ~15% of the Republican vote, and ~35-40% of the independent vote.  These are huge gains, that seem rather unlikely.  

The other way is to have Walker steal even more votes away from Parnell.  Walker is very unlikely to win the general election as he would have to severely outperform his numbers.  But if he can pull enough votes away from Parnell, Mallott could snake the election away.  I don't see that as rather likely, either. Parnell has built a very strong lead with the Republican base and he is performing very admirably with independents.  It would take quite a fall for Parnell to fall below the thresholds necessary for him to win.  

The only way that I see Mallott winning is that he finishes the next 9 months very strongly and the combination of Myers and Walker do just enough to Parnell to allow him to slip.  I don't think it's likely.  Despite not very strong numbers, Parnell should be considered pretty safe for re-election, at this point.

 

    
    

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention. - J.R.Myers for Alaska Governor 2014

    ReplyDelete