Manu Raju wrote an interesting article for today's politico.com, that poses the possibility of a run by Palin for Murkowski's seat, in the 2010 primary. Raju cites the country's most inaccurate pollster, Ivan Moore, as an expert on the matter. Heh.....
Democratic pollster Ivan Moore and other Alaska analysts say Murkowski is poised to skate to a second full term unless she loses in the Republican primary. The most credible Democratic challenger, Ethan Berkowitz, will likely mount a rematch against Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) for the state’s lone House seat in 2010, Moore and other analysts said.
Even though Palin’s popularity dipped after she took on a partisan role as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate and stumbled in televised interviews, she maintains high approval ratings back home, including about 80 percent support among Republican voters. Murkowski enjoys similarly high numbers.
A head-to-head fight between the two Republicans “would be a titanic struggle,” Moore said.
I'll get back to Moore's remark on Berkowitz, but Raju goes on to cite a more credible pollster, Dave Dittman, on Palin's 2010 dilemma:
The basic reality is that a victorious second-term Governor represents a far more credible candidate than does a newly minted U.S. Senator.
David Dittman, a Republican pollster in Alaska, said some right-wing talk show hosts have given Murkowski the nickname “Liberal Lisa,” a label that could stick in a Republican primary fight.
But like Murkowski, Dittman said Palin would be better served by staying in Juneau, where she still would have a huge profile and could maintain political star power in GOP circles — a celebrity status she showed off in Georgia this week as she campaigned for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
With Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, having just lost his seat, Dittman said GOP primary voters in Alaska would be wary of losing more Senate seniority by replacing Murkowski with Palin.
“My feeling is that Alaskans wouldn’t respond to that very well, especially Republicans, if she takes on Lisa and she starts seniority all over again,” Dittman said. “I think it would be tough for Sarah to do that and justify it.”
As increasing scrutiny on Palin's job performance deepens by Alaska media and bloggers, along with the state's Democratic Party leadership, Palin has to face her job once again. Her spokesperson (I've promoted him back to his regular title, at least for today), Bill McAllister, in a press "availability" in Anchorage on Monday, stated that Palin is working on crafting legislation on "medical care and energy," among other things. I missed "education."
It will be interesting to see if Palin's energy proposals mesh at all with the proposal issued by the bi-partisan Western Governors Association, on November 21st, and covered extensively down below last week (though not yet in Alaska, as far as I can determine):
The bi-partisan Western Governors’ Association has given President-elect Barack Obama a four-page letter detailing its recommendations for the new administration’s energy policy, including an “aggressive and achievable national greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.”
The letter, signed by Utah Gov. John Huntsman Jr. and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer also urges Obama to “promptly” (within the first 100 days of office) to, among other things: Propose a national mandatory system of emissions reductions through “market-based mechanisms;” Pursue a national energy efficiency program; Establish an oil import reduction goal; and spend tens of billions of dollars each year to encourage private investment in clean energy.
The article links to a PDF file of the complete statement. I find it hard to imagine Palin's energy ideas, which will most likely link more closely to her future political aspirations than to any realistic solutions for Alaskans, will closely resemble the Governors' goals.
Back to Moore's statement regarding Ethan Berkowitz's determination to stay in the race against Don Young. This is the third credible source (got that, Ivan, I called you credible) from whom I've heard the same message - Ethan is going to run against Don Young again in 2010.
What Berkowitz needs to do is do something. Something visible, something revolutionary, something effective. Probably something that meshes with the goals included in the WGA statement mentioned above.
And Alaska Democrats need to take the cues given recently by Party Chair Patti Higgins, and by Party Communication Director (more on that job's future soon) Kay Brown, and mount substantive challenges to Palin's real record as Governor.