Here is a listing of polls on the matchup between then-U. S. Senator Ted Stevens and then-Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich from the announcement of Mayor Begich's candidacy, until the indictment of Senator Stevens.
Some are scientific, some aren't:
KTUU: 5,093 votes Begich 80% Stevens 20%
KIMO: Begich 71% Stevens 22%
Research 2000: If 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Mark Begich, the Democrat, and Ted Stevens, the Republican?
Stevens (R) 43 (41)
Begich (D) 48 (47)
Hellenthal (May): WASHINGTON — A recent poll shows Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich leading incumbent Ted Stevens in the U.S. Senate race.
The survey found 51 percent of those responding would vote for Begich in November’s general election, compared to 44 percent who said they would back Stevens.
The poll indicates Begich is gaining name recognition across the state, but Stevens, who’s served in the Senate since 1968, also remains popular.
Some 58 percent of responders said they felt very or somewhat positive toward Begich, while only 16 percent had a negative opinion of the 45-year-old Democratic mayor. Eleven percent of those responding didn’t know of Begich.
For Stevens, the numbers were a little closer — 49 percent had a positive opinion, while 40 percent had a negative opinion. All of the survey’s 269 responders knew Stevens was the state’s senior senator.
Stevens’ bid to win a seventh full term in the Senate has been overshadowed by an ongoing corruption investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Stevens has not been charged with any wrongdoing. High name recognition may partially explain why the poll shows Stevens beating challenger Dave Cuddy by 15 percentage points in the Republican primary. More than 42 percent of poll participants said they had no idea who Cuddy was.
The poll did not ask about the Democratic primary, in which Begich faces Ray Metcalfe, founder of the Moderate Republican Party, and Frank Vondersaar. It also did not contain questions about the other seven long-shot candidates who hope to serve as Alaska’s next senator.
Half of those responding to the survey had no party affiliation or were registered Independents. Registered Republicans made up 27 percent of respondents; Democrats made up 22 percent. The poll was conducted between May 6 and May 10 by Anchorage firm Hellenthal and Associates.
It has a 6 percent margin of error.
June 18 (Rasmussen Reports):
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released today shows another 2 point split between Begich and Stevens in the senate race…only this time Stevens is up. Still well within the margin of error, but it would have been nice to see a widening split in Begich’s favor.
Stevens 46%, Begich 44%
Last Month: Begich 47%, Stevens 45%
View Candidate Favorably? Stevens 51% Begich 55%
View Candidate Unfavorably? Stevens 44% Begich 36%
July 21 (Rasmussen):
In an 11% swing of support from last month, a Rasmussen Reports poll released today shows Mark leading Sen. Stevens by 9%.
The previous month's numbers are in parentheses.
Begich (D) 50 (44) Stevens (R) 41 (46)
The Rasmussen poll notes: When “leaners” are included, Begich leads 52%to 44%. Begich began running his first television ads of the campaign on July 8 and the survey was conducted nine days later.
Heather Rauch, our campaign manager, responded to the poll: “As more and more Alaskans learn about Mark Begich and his commitment to Alaska families, they’re responding to the honest, ethical, results-driven style of leadership he offers.
Polls are just one indicator of voter attitude, but we’re pleased to see Mark is connecting with Alaskans and offering solutions to the challenges they face.” We're going to keep running hard and take nothing for granted - but this is great news and we're happy to share it with you all.
July 29, 2008: Senator Ted Stevens indicted.
And these two polls may be important too.
On Thursday (yesterday) I polled both of my UAA classes on this.
Should Sen. Mark Begich step down and run in special election against Ted Stevens?
UAA - 110 -- do not step down; 1 -- do step down
ERCC - 27 -- do not step down -- 21; do step down -- 6
If you were Sen. Mark Begich, would you step down?
UAA - 111 -- I wouldn't step down; 0 -- I would step down
ERCC - 24 -- I wouldn't step down; 3 -- I would step down
image - Ted Stevens at the Egan Center, August 26, 2008