Joe Miller is favored heading into the final two days of the US Senate campaign in Alaska. 37% of voters say they'll pick him while 30% plan to vote for Scott McAdams and another 30% plan to write in Lisa Murkowski.
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.
How can McAdams be so much more popular than Miller yet still be trailing the race? It's because 92% of the small group of voters that does like Miller is planning to vote for him. But only 56% of the voters with a positive opinion of McAdams are intending to cast their ballots for him, while 31% of them are going for Lisa Murkowski.
The high number of voters who like McAdams, dislike Miller, and are voting for Murkowski place the race in a whole different light than has been thought of the last few months. Murkowski's campaign, rather than propping herself up at the expense of Miller, may actually end up propping Miller up at the expense of McAdams. You never know how things would have unfolded in a two way race but Murkowski seems to be taking a lot more voters away from McAdams than she is from Miller.
It appears that Murkowski will lose this race. There are 2 main reasons for that. The first is that she retained little goodwill from Republicans after deciding to make an independent bid. Only 27% of GOP voters are planning to vote for her on Tuesday, down from 31% from a PPP poll earlier in October. The second reason Murkowski's headed for a loss is that she failed to dominate with independents. She is slightly ahead with them, getting 34% to 32% for McAdams and 31% for Miller. But they're not providing her with a strong base of support the way Democrats are for McAdams and Republicans for Miller.
In a cycle that has seen a lot of strange races, this one may well be the strangest. It would be premature to write off anyone at this point but Miller does look to be the favorite headed into the final stretch.
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