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Alaska Senate: Begich (D) 47% Stevens (R) 45%

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that Republican Senator Ted Stevens is trailing by two percentage points in his bid for re-election. Stevens attracts 45% of the vote while Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) earns 47%. A month ago, it was Stevens with 46% support and Begich at 45%.

Any incumbent who polls below 50% is considered potentially vulnerable, especially when they trail a challenger early in the campaign season. Stevens is supported by just 68% of those who plan to vote for John McCain. Twenty-four percent (24%) of McCain voters say they’ll be splitting the ticket to vote for Begich.

Still, the partisan lines have begun to harden. Stevens is supported by 79% of GOP voters, up from 71% a month ago. Begich attracts 89% of Democrats, up eleven points in a month. Begich also has a 53% to 35% advantage among unaffiliated voters.

Stevens is viewed favorably by 46% of the state’s voters, down from 50% a month ago. The number with an unfavorable opinion of their Senator has grown six points to 53%.

Begich earns favorable reviews from 54% while 38% have an unfavorable opinion. Those numbers are down a bit from last month when he was viewed favorably by 56% and unfavorably by 35%.

On April 21, Begich officially entered the race to challenge the longest-serving Republican ever in the U.S. Senate. Begich was six-years old when Stevens was first elected to his current job in 1968.

Six years ago, Stevens won re-election with 78% of the vote. Since then, however, he has been caught up in a federal corruption investigation. FBI agents served a search warrant on Stevens' Girdwood home. Two years ago, the state’s Junior Senator Lisa Murkowski narrowly held on to her seat and won with less than 50% of the vote.

While Stevens may face a challenging road to re-election and is clearly vulnerable, he will get some help from the state’s political gravity which heavily favors Republicans. Additionally, Stevens may be helped by the Republican Governor Sarah Palin who continues to earn rave reviews—73% of the state’s voters say she is doing a good or an excellent job. Just 7% say she is doing a poor job.

Stevens is far from the only Republican in trouble this year. Democrats have at least a chance of picking up Republican seats in Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, Kentucky and Texas. Two other Republican incumbents, Susan Collins in Maine and Pat Roberts in Kansas, are hovering just above the 50% mark in their bid for re-election.

While Stevens trouble is deepening, John McCain has gained ground over Barack Obama in Alaska. Nationally, McCain and Obama are very close in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Rasmussen Markets data currently shows that Stevens is given a % chance to keep his job while the Democrats with a % chance to pick up a seat in Alaska. Data in this paragraph is from a prediction market, not a poll. We invite you to participate in the Rasmussen Markets, it costs nothing to join.

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Alaska Leans Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Stevens (R)

44%

46%

79%

Begich (D)

52%

49%

10%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports May 14, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology


Alaska Trends: Stevens vs. Begich

Date

Stevens

Begich

10/28/2008

44%

52%

10/06/2008

49%

48%

09/09/2008

46%

48%

07/30/2008

37%

50%

07/17/2008

41%

50%

06/16/2008

46%

44%

05/14/2008

45%

47%

04/07/2008

46%

45%

Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Alaska

 

Stevens

Begich

Very Favorable

22%

27%

Somewhat Favorable

21%

30%

Somewhat Unfavorable

20%

18%

Very Unfavorable

35%

23%

Not Sure

1%

2%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.