Uh oh: Miller 50, McAdams 44 in new Rasmussen poll

Yeah, Rasmussen. Not PPP or Carville’s firm or some other left-leaning outfit. This is hot off the presses from the right’s very favorite pollster — and, to make matters worse, it’s of course a poll of likely voters, not registered. When PPP polled a hypothetical Miller/McAdams match-up last weekend, they found Miller up … by eight.

Dude, I’m nervous.

The latest statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Miller attracting 50% of the vote, while McAdams earns support from 44%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate and two percent (2%) are undecided.

This survey was conducted Tuesday night just hours after incumbent GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski conceded the Republican nomination during a recount of the August 24 primary. Miller, a lawyer and military veteran, benefited from support from the state’s former governor Sarah Palin and Tea Party activists.

Ninety percent (90%) of Democrats back McAdams while 79% of Republicans throw their vote behind Miller. McAdams holds a 22-point lead among voters not affiliated with either major political party.

The good news: Because this was polled immediately after the concession, there are bound to be some disgruntled Murkowski supporters in the mix whose bitterness will fade by election day. They’ll come home — as long as she keeps a low profile and doesn’t start attacking Miller or praising McAdams. The bad news: A 22-point Democratic lead among unaffiliateds in this year of all years, when the GOP is poised to utterly destroy Dems among indies nationwide, is astounding. Maybe there’s some quirk of Alaska politics I’m not familiar with that makes lots of Democrats identify as unaffiliated, but if not, that’s worrisome as a sign of how far to the right Miller is perceived as being. (In fact, 48 percent say his views are “extreme” versus 42 percent who say they’re “mainstream”; for McAdams, the split is just 21/47.) With the margin for error in the campaign this small, one bad gaffe by Miller could alienate just enough centrist Republicans to put the seat in play. Unless, of course, Murkowski comes through with a big endorsement. Which … she’s refused to do thus far. Gulp.

Miller says he’s “certain that we’re going to have a unified front in the fall election.” That makes two one of us. Exit question: Time to lower expectations in Alaska? Police those dreams!

Update: A nice reminder from the Conservatives4Palin people, and cause for optimism here: Republicans tend to do better in Alaska than polls indicate.

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