The trustworthy Republican state of Alaska hurts President Trump’s job performance, but Republicans still lead the state race for the president, Senate and US House, according to a New York Times / Siena College poll released Last Friday.
Above all, Mr. Trump led Joe Biden, 45 percent to 39 percent, with 8 percent supporting Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen. Similarly, Dan Sullivan, the incumbent Republican senator, led Democratic nominee Al Gross, by 45 to 37, with 10 percent supporting Alaska Independence candidate John Howe.
In a race rematch in the House of 2018, Republican Don Young, the longest-serving member of Congress, leads Democratic nominee Alyse Galvin, 49 percent to 41 percent – about the same margin of her seven-point win two years the past.
Alaska emerged as an unlikely battle battle in the late stages of the campaign, as Democrats and Republicans were in a hurry to run ads in both the House and Senate races. The state voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964, and Republicans enjoy a significant advantage in party registration and party recognition, according to the survey. But many Alaskans have turned their backs on Mr. Trump after he was backed by 15 points against Hillary Clinton four years ago, creating a potential opening for Democrats in an independent state.
Today, 47 percent of Alaskans say they approve of how Mr. Trump handles his job as president, while the same number disagrees.
Although Alaska remains a long shot for Democrats, many voters support a minor party candidate, so there is a strange amount of uncertainty. Democrats can also expect their candidates to strengthen their status in the last three weeks; they will remain less well-known than Republican incumbents and enter the final stretch with a significant financial advantage.
The GOP challenge is centered on Anchorage, a former trusted Republican city where all three Republican candidates are now following. The president won Anchorage by five points four years ago, but Mr. Biden led by nine in the survey, 47-38. The city represents a larger portion of its state population than any other city except New York City.
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No one would confuse Anchorage for a part of the Sun Belt, but politically there are surprising similarities. The city is relatively educated, diverse, traditionally Republican, and it has a large energy sector.
Like other parts of the country, the president’s weakness is driven by a significant shortage of white voters with college education. The Alaskans in that group returned to Mr. Biden by almost 40 percent points – one of his biggest leads among any Times / Siena poll group so far.
Democrats sought to capitalize on the nomination of two candidates, Ms. Galvin and Mr. Gross, describing themselves as independent. The state has a long independent charter, and non-contact voters represent a majority of the state electorate – either by registering or self-identifying the party. An independent candidate won the governor’s career in 2014, and 12 percent of voters supported the various minor party candidates in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump won only 51 percent of the vote in 2016 – almost the same percentage of its number on traditional battlefields such as Ohio or Iowa.
If Democrats prevail over any race, it will offer the party an unusual path to control the Senate and, less clearly, the presidency. The US House will decide on the presidency in the event of an Electoral College tie, in which each delegation of the state congress receives a vote. Towards the election, Republicans were pleased 26-23 to lead state congressional delegations, with two parties equally divided between the parties. A winning Democrat in Alaska, which has only one congressional district, has seriously jeopardized the Republican path to a majority of state delegations.
But a significant number of the president’s detractors remained hesitant to embrace Democratic candidates. And while Republicans have lost significant ground in Anchorage, they retain most of their support elsewhere in the state, thanks to so many margins on white voters without a degree. Republicans also have surprising strength over non-white voters who are not recognized as Native Alaskans or Native Americans, such as Hispanics or multiracial voters.
Part of the challenge for Democrats may be the ballot itself. The Alaska ballot, as well as the Times / Siena poll, recognized Mr. Gross and Ms. Galvin as “Democratic nominees” rather than independents, which some Democrats fear could soften their appeal to non-contact voters. Perhaps as a result, many of the state’s independent voters say they will support Mr. Howe, the Alaska Independence candidate, for the Senate.
Polls obtained well before an election tend to express final support for minor party candidates on the ballot box, but a long history of supporting minor party candidates has raised the possibility that these candidates will retain a large share of support.
If minority party candidates see their support subside, as has happened many times before, it is not clear whether Democrats or Republicans are willing to benefit.
In the race of the presidency, the supporters of Ms. Jorgensen was equally divided on the performance of the president’s job, but they said they supported Mr. Trump by a three-to-one margin four years ago.
Based on job approval numbers, Mr. Howe appears to have a larger group of Republican friendly supporters. They said they voted for Mr. Trump by a two-to-one margin in 2016, and they approved his performance by a broad margin as well.
The two Alaska incumbents, Senator Sullivan and Representative Young, appear to have particular strengths. Unlike the president, Mr. Sullivan has a favorable positive rating, with 48 percent favorable and 39 percent undesirable. He won 10 percent of the vote against the president.
Mr. Young has an advantage in his own: extraordinary support from the distant state of the state’s Native and Native American communities, representing nearly half of the non-white state voting. Alaska Natives have a long record of splitting their tickets in favor of Republican incumbents, like Mr. Young, but they can be a challenge for pollsters to reach. Many communities do not have internet or road access.
The Times / Siena survey of 423 likely Alaska voters was conducted from October 9-14 on landlines and cellular phones. An analysis indicates that the survey was successful in reaching Alaska Indigenous cities in parts of the state. It has less success among voters on the North Slope, in towns like Utqiagvik – formerly known as Barrow. In terms of polling results, the survey may be biased as to whether Alaska Indigenous Peoples on the North Slope differ from those in the western and southwestern parts of the state, although the precinct results of the 2016 election indicate the two regions are identical enough. for the purpose of political survey research.
Above all, Alaska Natives make up 13 percent of the possible voter turnout. Mr. Young led a relatively small sample of the 45 Alaska Indigenous or Native Americans who participated in the survey, although both voters supported Mr. Biden and Mr. Gross.
Here are the crosstabs for voting.