-For the first time in its polling PPP finds a plurality of Alaskans in support of gay marriage. 47% of voters favor it to 46% who are opposed. That represents a 9 point shift just from a year ago when only 43% supported it and 51% were against. When it comes to the broader issue of granting same sex couples legal rights through civil unions there's a pretty broad consensus with 71% of voters in support and only 26% opposed to any sort of legal recognition. Even among Republicans there's 54% support for at least letting gay couples have civil unions.
-Sarah Palin continues to be so unpopular in her home state that she trails Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical contest for President there. Only 39% of voters in Alaska have a favorable opinion of her to 55% who see her in a negative light, and she trails Clinton 44/43 in a head to head. Palin does worse in her home state than any of the other potential Republican candidates we tested. Jeb Bush is the strongest, leading Clinton by 8 at 47/39, followed by Rand Paul who leads her by 6 at 47/41, and Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee who both lead her by 4 points at 43/39 and 45/41 respectively.
The Republican primary field is a jumble with six potential candidates polling in double digits. Rand Paul leads with 15% to 13% for Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, 12% for Jeb Bush, 11% for Mike Huckabee, 10% for Chris Christie, 6% for Marco Rubio, and 4% each for Paul Ryan and Scott Walker. Even among GOP voters only 28% think Palin should run for President in 2016, compared to 62% who think she should sit it out.
-Alaskans support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes by a 74/22 margin, and they support legalizing it for recreational purposes too by a narrower 55/39 spread. When it comes to medical marijuana there's a pretty strong bipartisan consensus with 88% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 58% of Republicans in support of it. There's 72/26 support for recreational use among voters under 30.
-Lisa Murkowski voted across party lines on the procedural vote on the unemployment benefits issue last month, and perhaps as a result has some unusual splits in her approval numbers. She's the most popular politician in the state with 50% of voters approving of her to 37% who disapprove. But she's actually considerably more popular with both Democrats (59/27) and independents (55/33) than her own Republican voters (38/50).
-Although results we released yesterday showed that Sean Parnell is strongly favored for reelection this fall, he could be headed for a political setback in August. 43% of Alaskans say they plan to vote to repeal Senate Bill 21, the Oil and Gas Production Tax, compared to only 31% who intend right now to keep it in place. There's a pretty strong consensus among Democrats for repeal (57/18), while Republicans only narrowly (32/40) want to keep it in place.
-When we polled Alaska over the summer voters in the state narrowly said they were Packers fans, but they're pretty firmly on the Seahawks bandwagon now. 30% say they're Seahawks fans to 15% for the Broncos, 13% for the Packers, 7% for the 49ers, 5% for the Cowboys, 3% for the Raiders, 2% for the Chargers, and 1% for the Giants. The Seattle loyalty carries over to baseball with 24% saying they're Mariners fans, 11% Red Sox, 9% Cubs, 7% Yankees, 5% Braves, 4% Dodgers/Giants, 2% Angels, and 1% A's.
Full results here