Miller and Murkowski are “even”

Rasmussen’s latest poll of the Alaska Senate race shows a virtual deadlock between Republican nominee Joe Miller and incumbent Lisa Murkowski, a write-in candidate. The results of this survey are Miller 35, Murkowski 34, Scott McAdams (the Democrat) 28.
These numbers don’t mean that the race is actually even. Murkowski’s supporters must write her name on the ballot, after remembering to fill in a “bubble” indicating that they wish to vote for a write-in candidate. This seems fair enough, by the way. Miller defeated Murkowski in the Republican primary.
Miller’s core supporters presumably are energized and will turn out, as they did in the primary (unless, perhaps, his rift with Todd Palin dampens enthusiasm). Murkowski’s supporters may or may not be energized. She is casting her campaign as a crusade, but it isn’t necessarily an ideological one the way Miller’s is.
Still, Murkowski must be quite heartened by this latest poll. Less than a month ago, just after she commenced her write-in campaign, Miller was 15 points ahead of her at 42-27, with McAdams at 25 percent.
The new Rasmussen results comport with the observations of Greta Van Susteren, who has been spending time in Alaska covering the race, including a debate. Even prior to seeing the new poll, she had expressed doubts about Miller’s prospects.
I don’t know whether Van Susteren’s impressions are a reliable indicator but, in light of Rasmussen’s poll numbers, there can be little doubt that the complexion of this race has changed.

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