Must Read Alaska Show: Pollster Ivan Moore says Murkowski can’t win without her base of Democrat voters


On the Must Read Alaska Show on Wednesday, Alaska Survey Research pollster Ivan Moore talked with show host John Quick about all three of the statewide races and how voters are viewing the candidates.

He acknowledged the criticism of ranked choice voting, in that it threw Sen. Lisa Murkowski a lifeline. He admitted that she is the prime beneficiary of the open primary brought about by Ballot Measure 2 in 2020.

“She [Murkowski] would have had to go through a Republican primary and she would have had zero chance of winning that,” he said.

Moore said in he Senate race, Democrat candidate Pat Chesbro is likely to be eliminated second (after Republican Buzz Kelly is eliminated), and nearly all of her votes will go to Murkowski. A negligible number of Chesbro voters will pick Kelly Tshibaka second.

“The one thing we can say for certain right now as we approach the general [election] in November is that it will go to a Murkowski-Tshibaka final,” he said. And the particular poll he just completed, the result “was like 57-43 to Murkowski.”

Moore said he has polled the Senate race five times in the past year, and Murkowski has won every single time “and it’s ranged from the … 52-48 and 53-47 kind of ball park. Up to 57-43, 58-42. So I see Murkowski as a pretty strong favorite.”

But he said it’s not impossible for Republican Kelly Tshibaka to win. But he referred to the online betting market called, where people who are betting actual money are making Murkowski the 80% favorite. On PredictIt, that means Tshibaka has a one in five chance of winning.

“She could win,” Moore said of Tshibaka. “Don’t get me wrong. But she’s the underdog.”

Moore said that Murkowski, since losing the primary to Joe Miller in 2010, has moved gradually left to the place where she “has become a pariah amongst the people on the right. For the longest time, her support came from the middle.” He described a bell curve with moderates at the top of the curve. For a while, she was most popular among moderates and no-party people — the swing voters.

After the Obamacare repeal vote in 2017, when Murkowski voted against repealing the controversial Affordable Health Care Act, along with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, “that was it, as far as the conservative right was concerned,” Moore said. There’s nothing she can do to win those voters back.

View the interview at this link.

He went on to say that if he analyzed her record, or “cross tabs” without her name attached, he would have to guess that Murkowski is a Democrat. In fact, he would guess “100% that is a Democrat.”

Moore said Murkowski’s favorable rating is highest on the Left these days, with very low support from the right, and some support from the moderates.

Murkowski is going to have a tough time, now that she is so clearly aligned with the Left, he said.

“You’ve got to obey your master and she’s going to have a tough time … keeping her support base happy and at the same time not becoming a bit of a pariah in her caucus in the Senate,” he said.

Moore said that conservatives should give Ranked Choice Voting another look, because he believes it benefits Republicans in Alaska.

“And if you look at it just objectively, instant runoff is good for Republicans in Alaska because there’s more Republican voters, there are therefore more Republican candidates, and so Republicans are always much more likely to be going against each other in races and splitting the vote. And ranked choice voting prevents these situations.”

The 1994 gubernatorial race was a classic example, he said, where ranked choice voting would have advantaged Republicans.

Republican Jack Coghill pulled away a chunk of vote that otherwise would have gone to the Republican, Moore said. In that race, Democrat Tony Knowles narrowly defeated Republican Jim Campbell and Alaskan Independence Party’s Jack Coghill. If Alaska had ranked choice voting back then, Knowles would not have won.

“And those kinds of situations are going to happen much more for Republicans than Democrats,” he said. “Democrats can barely scare up one candidate in each race. Let alone having two. There’s not really a functional Green Party anymore to siphon off Democrat votes.”

He also believes it’s good public policy and disagrees that it’s too confusing for average voters.

“No, it isn’t [confusing]. It’s not rocket science,” he said.


    • The Lesson was learned in Joe Miller’s defeat. Ivan Moore is only repeating known facts for slower learners. The final winning spread of Lisa over Kelly will be greater than the spread between Peltola and Begich (assuming Palinites put support for Begich) and the Dunleavy spread winning over the combined Gara/Walker votes.

      Kelly has no chance. Game over for carpet bagging. Perhaps Kelly will lose and then run for State House or State Senate and build some credibility, but supposedly they do not pay her enough to serve.

  1. “Moore said in he Senate race, Democrat candidate Pat Chesbro is likely to be eliminated second (after Republican Buzz Kelly is eliminated), and nearly all her will votes go to Murkowski……….”
    What would happen if Republicans voted for Chesbro second? Would it be possible to play on anticipated Demonrat first choices and get Murky eliminated before Chesbro?

    • If everyone who ranked Kelly T first ranked Chesbro second, nothing would happen as Kelly T won’t be eliminated.

      It looks like this. There are 4 candidates. Lisa, Kelly T, Chesbro, and Buzz Kelley. Lets say the votes shake out like this after the first round of counting. Buzz in 4th place, Chesbro in 3rd place, Lisa in 2nd place and Kelly T in first place.

      Buzz gets eliminated first and who ever his voters ranked second will receive his votes. (most probably going to Kelly T)

      Then when there still is not a winner with over 50% + 1 vote, the third place candidate gets eliminated. This most likely is Chesbro. So who ever her supporters ranked second on their ballots gets her votes. Now we have a 2 way race between Lisa and Kelly T and one of those two will win.

      So if you rank Kelly T or Lisa first, it wont matter who you ranked second as neither one will be eliminated until a winner is decided between the two of them.

  2. Good. Hopefully this election will be a thumb in the eye of McConnell and his corrupt ilk.
    And Lisa can move on to lobbying. I hear PP might be looking for a new spokesgoul.

  3. The same Ivan Moore who said that I was going to win the Republican Primary for governor in 2006. How’d that work out for me? I got beat by both Sarah Palin and John Binkley. My only saving grace was that I appointed Lisa to my old US Senate seat. Now, she has disgraced me, the Republican Party, and Alaskans. Nancy and I are voting for Kelly so we can move out of this hideaway hellhole called Petersburg.

  4. Yes, Avenger, there are Democrats—both conservative and liberal—who vote for her. And there are those conservative Republicans—the rational and open minded—who also vote for her. Of those who are in the race, I’ll be voting for her myself. Here in this great country every qualified voter can cast a ballot for the person of his choice. No doubt we’ll be seeing more than a few bug-eyed maniacs voting too!

  5. So nothing has changed since she ran against Joe Miller. Democrats voted her in then, they even abandoned their own candidate (Scott somthin-er-other) to do it. Anyone who thought she would ever be loyal to republicans, or Americans for that matter were fools.

    • The Republican party has left moderates hanging and was first noticeable with their electing Joe Miller in their primary. Lisa still votes mainly with the Rs but occasionally objects to the right-wing crazy so prevalent in today’s R party IMO.

  6. The biggest reason Murkowski has any hope in the upcoming election is that the Republican party refuses to disown her.

    What does that say about the party?

  7. Don’t agree with his assessment of RCV. It does not favor Republicans. When the two strongest candidates are in the same party, they go after each other and then split the vote. And rather than have one and two spots, they have second and third spots with probably the strongest Democrat in the first spot and a very weak democrat in the 4th spot, or maybe a really weak but very different republican, possibly a RINO or independent in the 4th spot. Regardless, the 2 republicans spend their whole campaign making each other look bad (MRAK helping in that fued) while the democrat just coasts in. I don’t know how he can ask Republicans to reconsider RCV when we just witnessed what happened to allow Peltola to win with the majority of the voters voting for a Republican first.

    He also thinks it isn’t too confusing. He doesn’t even understand the effects of it himself and he considers himself an expert. Yes, it confuses the elections a ton. This guy isn’t earning much of my respect. And it is silly for any pollster to think they are going to get accurate results from surveys or polls in this day and age when most conservatives I know, by virtue, either give false answers or don’t answer at all just so these tools look like fools. Conservatives believe that most pollsters in the pockets of mainstream media that is obviously just an arm of the Democrat party.

    “Lisa Murkowski can’t win without her base Democrat Voters” Oh wow. Thanks Captain Obvious. Next you will tell me that people can’t vote unless they fill out a ballot.

  8. 2 problems here with your article. First, Murkowski was already exposed by Project Veritas as orchestrating RCV because she knew her Democrat allies would come to her rescue. RCV absolutely does not favor “True” Republicans. Look at all the so called “Republicans” in Juneau that vote right down the line with Democrats to destroy Alaska. RCV favors the corrupt leftists that have organized to take this State for their global utopia, only to join failed States like California. If you haven’t looked at Seth Keshel’s analysis of Alaska’s voting system and how rigged it is, I would take a look. Until we have some men with integrity and honor in the Governor’s House and AG position that are willing to conduct a complete and thorough review of our elections, we will lose control of our future. The Con-Con is looking better and better.


    • Project veritas continually loses in court Michael. Veritas haven’t proven anything but the lousy antagonists they are, and the limits of thinking for themselves by folks who believe them.

      • Maureen don’t be so negative about Project Veritas because they really have gotten better over the years and are almost doing what can be seen as investigative journalism, in that they record people saying what they mean, like they did when they exposed Lisa Murkowski’s campaign staff and their ties to the Ballot Measure 2 fraud on Alaskans.

        Instead, why not find what can be readily found by anyone with the simplest search online: “ .

        They don’t win all the time, but they do win.

  9. I would not be surprised to see Lisa switch sides if the Republicans only win a one-seat lead in the Senate, making her a courageous darling of the left. In return, Chuckie would lavish her with choice committee appointments.

  10. For once the slimy limey is correct; Democrats always push her over the top. But I believe that this time she is more hopeful that her little darling, Ranked Choice Voting, will be her saving grace.

  11. The Rs chose to bring a carpet bagger here, provided moving expenses and overpaid her for a job, sweet deals for her spouse. These truths have nothing to do with Murkowski and everything to do with non traditional Alaskan Repubs.who “strategidized” this debacle. Don’t blame Dems for your poor choices.

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