I don’t want to say that Alaskan politics are different, but a reader in that state recently sent me a list of imponderables in the three-way Senate race. Among them were:
— To what extent is the polling capturing Miller voters who are part of the home school/fundamental home church/no home phone voters who live up and down the rail-belt and who turned out very strongly in the primary.
— To what extent is the polling capturing the Alaska Native vote in rural villages, and how will their turnout be.
— What will be the percentage of spoiled write-in ballots?
Meanwhile, a PPP poll shows Miller in the lead with 37 percent of the vote. Murkowski and McAdams have 30 percent each. Only 3 percent are undecided. The sample size is in excess of 1,500.
By contrast, a poll by Intergroup Communications shows Murkowski with 36 percent, Miller with 34 percent, and McAdams with 22 percent. However, when the responses were weighted to match current Alaskan voter registration statistics results were: Murkowski 39 percent; Miller 28 percent; McAdams 24 percent.
That poll, though, was conducted for the Murkowski campaign. Moreover, the sample size was less than 500.
This analysis in the Alaska Dispatch seems to place more faith in the Dittman poll than in either PPP’s or that of Intergroup Communications. Dittman is a local pollster whose 40-year track record apparently is quite good.
Dittman, has worked for Miller, but the poll he released on Friday was an independent one. It showed Murkowski with 37 percent, Miller 27 percent, and McAdams 23 percent, with 13 percent undecided.
I don’t think anyone knows how this race is going to turn out. But given Murkowski’s status as a write-in candidate, I think I’d bet on Miller if I had to bet.