Palin Not Driving Force in Apparent Miller Upset
Put away your crowns, Tea Party Publicans. Sister Sarah is not a kingmaker yet.
A Public Policy Polling survey done of Alaskan voters in the Republican senatorial primaries, where Joe Miller appears to be winning in a surprising upset over incumbent Lisa Murkowski, reveals that 59% percent of Alaskan voters weren’t moved by Palin’s endorsement.
“Only 15% of those who voted for Miller said Palin’s endorsement was ‘very important’ in who they decided to vote for while 26% said ‘somewhat important’ and 59% said it didn’t matter at all.
Overall 35% of primary voters said a Palin endorsement would make them less likely to support a candidate while 26% said more likely and 39% said it didn’t make a difference either way. Among Miller voters though 41% did say a Palin endorsement was a plus to only 13% who said it was a negative.”
The fact that 59% of voters couldn’t care less who Sarah Palin endorsed is a low blow in the home state of the former governor, whose approval ratings once towered in the puffy clouds of Palinland. The fact that 35% of voters in a Republican Primary said it would make them less likely to support a candidate is a rather chilly blow off of the Mama Grizzly Pitbull.
While Alaskans might be unmoved by Sarah’s word, Palin’s endorsement may have helped a lot in getting the Tea Party to pour money into the race. The Tea Party is becoming notorious for not vetting candidates (see Delaware Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) who owes back taxes and has other financial malfeasance brewing) before they endorse them. Palin’s word is enough with them. In that sense, Palin brings the power of the Bircher Koch brothers with her, and that kind of money can buy a lot of ads.
So while Alaskans might think they weren’t swayed by Palin, may in fact have not wanted to be swayed by her (Palin’s preemptive quitting and subsequent money grab still stings), money can change a lot of seemingly independent minds via negative campaigning.
After all, 47% of primary voters thought Murkowski was too liberal and where did they get this idea? The Tea Party funded ads “accusing” Murkowski of actually working with Democrats. Apparently, working with other Americans for the betterment of your state is tantamount to treason in the Tea Party. Which makes me wonder.
I guess these folks who are so worried about how “liberal” Murkowski is can’t wait to give up their Social Security and Medicare.
But there was also the parental notification for abortions bill up for a vote, which presumably drove out the more conservative factions. In the end, though, Alaskans didn’t care who Sarah endorsed. Her choice was not going to influence them.
I find this supremely disappointing, as we all know that Palin is the largest fundraiser for Democrats out there. We may all need to dig deep into our pockets to help the Democratic candidate Scott McAdams in Alaska, as Palin apparently won’t be able to whip up the sort of rage in Alaskans as she does in the lower 48. After all, Alaskans have lived through her aborted reign and are off to the next battle.
I guess Alaskans just aren’t that into Sarah anymore.
But that doesn’t mean America isn’t into her. I can hear that Mama Grizzly roaring for 2012 from here.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.