New governor’s race poll shows Walker leading Parnell by 8 points

Hays Research Group, an Alaska-based polling firm, released a poll which shows that in a head-to-head match up, Bill Walker, the gubernatorial candidate for the “Unity” ticket, is beating Republican Gov. Sean Parnell by 8 percentage points. A whopping 31 percent are still undecided. The poll didn’t include the names of each candidate’s lieutenant governors, and it described Walker as an “Independent.” On the ballot, he will be described as “unaffiliated.” The Alaska AFL-CIO paid for the poll. The umbrella union organization supports the “Unity” ticket and was instrumental in bringing Bill Walker, a Republican, and Democrat Byron Mallott together on one ticket. The poll, conducted between Sep. 13-14, surveyed 500 registered voters in the state of Alaska who had voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.38 percent.

Parnell walker poll

The same poll also shows U.S. Sen. Mark Begich up by 5 points over Dan Sullivan. Hays warns, however that the “race has been quite volatile with each candidate taking the lead at various times throughout the past few weeks.”

The results for both races is consistent with Harstad Strategic Research, which recently polled both races for the Senate Majority PAC.

Read the full Hays poll here.


24 thoughts on “New governor’s race poll shows Walker leading Parnell by 8 points

  1. Dunsmore

    The real noteworthy point is the high number of undecideds. Generally undecided voters break 2 to 1 for the challenger, so you do the math…

  2. Care Clift

    Go, JR. I am working very hard at getting into the debates. Right now, I am still being rejected by the television stations because I haven’t been in any polls!!! And… I don’t have a big enough campaign account. “WE” are beating Parnell! There are enough voters that we could also beat Walker! Amanda, I think it’s time you interviewed the real winners in this governor’s race, and it’s the “third-party” candidates, Care Clift and JR Myers. CareClift for Alaska

  3. Ellen

    John, you do realize that the pollster, when hired by a company or organization, doesn’t get to pick the sample size? The person paying for the service (which would be the poll) gets to say how many people they want to survey. Then the pollster can say, well, this means your margin of error will be “insert number here.”

  4. Straitlaced Radical

    IF you assume the poll is accurate, the “don’t know/undecided” number is still the most fascinating part. I think it’s safe to say that conventional political wisdom is largely out the window in this race, and that the conventional wisdom that the unity ticket is counting on may not come together the way they expect. As big of a deal has been made about the merger, an undecided number still this big may actually benefit the incumbent more than one would usually think. Means that people aren’t yet sold on Walker/Mallot, and as Walker keeps trying to redefine his actual identity, I doubt he gains many more supporters than he already has. Regardless, Parnell’s people ought to be paying attention to this.

  5. Billy

    2 things to point out.
    1. When potential poll takers were contacted and answered with a candidate other than Parnell or Walker they were hung up on. That 31% accounts for more than undecided.
    2. The pollsters, as well as the debate coordinators, are forcing the Libertarians and Constitutionalists out of the race by ignoring them.
    It’s time to include ALL party and non-partisan candidates in the polls and debates, not just the “major players” as the media deems fit.

    Vote Libertarians Care Clift for Alaska Governor and Andrew C. Lee for Alaska Lt. Governor!

  6. John Smith

    Hays does not have the best track record of accurate polling in our state. They have a history of using a sample size that does not accurately represent Alaskan voters. A couple of examples have already been cited. Here is another one:

    Nate Silver has a take on the Harstad Poll and it is worth a read. Here is an excerpt:

    “A new, partisan poll of Alaska came out over the weekend. The survey, conducted for Senate Majority PAC by Harstad Strategic Research, shows the Democratic incumbent Mark Begich leading his Republican opponent Dan Sullivan 45 percent to 40 percent. That contradicts the last two nonpartisan polls of the state, which had shown Sullivan ahead.

    Senate Majority PAC’s goals are pretty clear; its mission is to “protect and expand the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.” Longtime readers will know that we’re not fans of partisan polls, which tend to be inaccurate and biased.”

    Partisan polls are partisan. So is the case with yours. Instead of calling people with whom you disagree a “putz”, perhaps you should actually show some backbone and honest and admit that your poll is partisan and as such the sample size is effected. Otherwise, most Alaskans will continue to not take you seriously. In fact, in your current roll, I am surprised you would use that derogatory language towards someone. You have had to deal with being called a ‘bully” quite often and unless you enjoy that, checking your egocentrically charged language with only exacerbate that opinion.

  7. Fairbanks Independent Voter

    While attending college on the east coast, I worked part-time for a polling firm that did a consiiderable amount of polling for both corporate and political interests. This practical experience coupled with my statistical background, leads me to question the validity of both the Colorado poll and Mr. Beltrami’s poll. Mr. Beltrami’s comments suggest that he is very protective of his pollster, the results of his poll, and the integrity of his numbers. While I have not had access to all of the materials necessary to evaluate the quality of this particular poll, I wouldn’t suggest that Hays Research is known to be a highly recognized or credible pollster. In the future, I would suggest that if Mr. Beltrami wants his polling numbers to be taken serious and not be so quickly questioned, he might consider hiring a firm with more credibility and one that doesn’t exist of the largess of union dues.

  8. Lynn Willis

    There soon will be a series of events that will serve to eclipse any poll taken before (thanks to Amanda’s Daybook):

    • September 29, Gubernatorial Debate hosted by the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Juneau.
    • October 1. Gubernatorial Debate hosted by the Ketchikan Daily News, Ketchikan.
    • October 8. Gubernatorial Debate hosted by the Kenai and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce(s), Soldotna.
    • October 14. Gubernatorial Debate hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Fairbanks.
    • October 26. Gubernatorial Debate hosted by KTUU – Channel 2, Anchorage.
    • October 28. Gubernatorial Debate hosted by KTVA – Channel 11, Anchorage
    • October 29. Gubernatorial Debate hosted by KTOO and KAKM TV, An

  9. Jon K

    Vince – do you think there is a decent chance that the NS gas will be commercialized within the next ten years? If so, why do you think Walker has a better plan?

  10. Anonymous

    Beltrami doth protest too much – Hays is a former union hack – no one is fooled by these pathetic tactics.

  11. Anne

    This study was arranged by Alaska AFL-CIO, a big labor organization representing unions. Union wanted the ‘unity’ ticket, deal brokered by Begich’s brother. I’m sure there’s no bias in this poll.

  12. Vince Beltrami

    CPG49 – your comment defies common sense. Do you understand how polling works? A client selects a vendor to do a poll. Hays followed strict methodology which is there for all to see (did you bother to look at the linked instrument?). The results are nearly identical to those conducted by a national firm as pointed out by Amanda. Polls are polls. The pollster isn’t directed to obtain a specific result, in fact I think it would be impossible given the requirement by me to match the electorate demographics. Don’t be such a putz.

  13. CPG49

    What a joke. This poll defies common sense. Oh my, I’m surprised that they selected their own polling company, who may or may not poll for anyone but Beltrami and team of misfits.

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