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December 18, 2014

Alaska is More Progressive Than You Think

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OK, can we just stop for a minute, and revel in something?

First let me start by saying that I have long tried to convince the unconvinceable that Alaska is bluer than its current slate of lawmakers would lead one to believe. Now I’ve got backup.

Public Policy Polling came out with some numbers that reflect a change on The Last Frontier. It’s the kind of change that says, “You know, we’ve been thinking about it, and maybe we don’t really want to be a backward, redneck, socially intolerant oil colony after all.”

Here are some highlights:

-For the first time in its polling PPP finds a plurality of Alaskans in support of gay marriage. 47% of voters favor it to 46% who are opposed. That represents a 9 point shift just from a year ago when only 43% supported it and 51% were against. When it comes to the broader issue of granting same sex couples legal rights through civil unions there’s a pretty broad consensus with 71% of voters in support and only 26% opposed to any sort of legal recognition. Even among Republicans there’s 54% support for at least letting gay couples have civil unions.

-Sarah Palin continues to be so unpopular in her home state that she trails Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical contest for President there. Only 39% of voters in Alaska have a favorable opinion of her to 55% who see her in a negative light, and she trails Clinton 44/43 in a head to head. Palin does worse in her home state than any of the other potential Republican candidates we tested. Jeb Bush is the strongest, leading Clinton by 8 at 47/39, followed by Rand Paul who leads her by 6 at 47/41, and Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee who both lead her by 4 points at 43/39 and 45/41 respectively.

-Alaskans support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes by a 74/22 margin, and they support legalizing it for recreational purposes too by a narrower 55/39 spread. When it comes to medical marijuana there’s a pretty strong bipartisan consensus with 88% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 58% of Republicans in support of it. There’s 72/26 support for recreational use among voters under 30.

-Alaskans strongly favor both extending unemployment benefits and increasing the minimum wage to $1o an hour. 60% support the minimum wage hike to only 33% who are opposed. It has support from 81% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and even 43% of Republicans. The numbers on extending unemployment benefits are pretty similar with 59% in support of continuing them to just 34% who think they should be cut off.
-Lisa Murkowski voted across party lines on the procedural vote on the unemployment benefits issue last month, and perhaps as a result has some unusual splits in her approval numbers. She’s the most popular politician in the state with 50% of voters approving of her to 37% who disapprove. But she’s actually considerably more popular with both Democrats (59/27) and independents (55/33) than her own Republican voters (38/50).

-Although results we released yesterday showed that Sean Parnell is strongly favored for reelection this fall, he could be headed for a political setback in August. 43% of Alaskans say they plan to vote to repeal Senate Bill 21, the Oil and Gas Production Tax, compared to only 31% who intend right now to keep it in place. There’s a pretty strong consensus among Democrats for repeal (57/18), while Republicans only narrowly (32/40) want to keep it in place.

That’s right, candidates. If you want to appeal to the majority of your constituents, you’ll be pro-same-sex marriage, pro-legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use, pro-extension of unemployment benefits, pro-increasing minimum wage, and pro-repealing Sean Parnell’s disastrous SB21 oil tax rollback.

And in other news, you’ll also be anti-Pebble mine and pro-choice.

Oh, Alaska, you big sneaky blue state, you…

 

 

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11 Responses to “Alaska is More Progressive Than You Think”
  1. Alaska Pi says:

    I was rilly cranky when I first read this.
    Living in a lil puddle of purple, not really even blue, amidst a mostly red state has a lot of ups and downs- mostly downs in recent years- which has become very wearing.
    John, below, is correct that too many folks assume the GOP reflects their views until they try to match up their own views with the party platform and/or actions.
    There was a startling poll , years ago, that showed Mr Reagan was wildly popular in a general favorability poll but found those who viewed him favorably disagreed with about 60 percent of his policy. So. What does that say about what?
    The news is full of Pshaw!ing and Pffft!ing of this PPP poll as flawed or skewed and the like. The 2 main complaints seem to be that not enough cell phone users were reached and that too many women were represented given the makeup of the female/male ratio here. While the poll may indeed be suspect I laughed my head off over the too many women dealie. :-) Sooo.. we find the ladies may be less lock step conservo-or-right-libertariany than the so many of the gents?
    As per the “libertarian hypocrisy” remark below- I think that is too narrow a way to look at anything here.
    It is like setting your mower blade on high and skimming the top inch of grass off whilst running at full speed over all the landscape and its ups and downs and all arounds.
    There are distinct differences between traditional authoritarian conservatives here and right- libertarians and certainly between right libertarians and far left -libertarians like me. And all that before we get to all the folks here who see themselves as moderates
    I’m still cranky but now it has more to do with Alaska’s peculiarly proud notions of being exceptional and unknowable except to its precious lil self.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Raygun’s popularity wa a PR stunt,nothing more. He acted like a Prez from days gone by,talked tough like a Texas Ranger,but he had no idea what his aides were up to. I actually think senile old Ronnie felt entitled to the office and like the old B grade actor he was,he left the details to his directors and producers. He was a disaster in economics and foreign policy,and I had zero sympathy for him when they declared him senile. I wil go to my next life knowing Nixon,Ford,Raygun and two dumb bass dubyas all still need to be impeached.

  2. mike from iowa says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/02/09/opinion/sunday/see-something-say.html?ref=opinion#1

    OT since everyone is in church I’m gonn sneak this in. Best farm bill cartoon,ever.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    …….than Texas,where Wendy Davis just commited political sooiecide by stating as Gov she would allow open carry of firearms. You are breaking Juanita Jean’s heart and you deserve to lose,traitor.

  4. @SamuelMoore says:

    You read these as blue/Democratic leaning, I read them as libertarian leaning. This state is full of what I call “libertarian hypocrisy” where we hate the federal government, but love that federal government spending, and we’re also have a strong “leave us alone” mentality, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be moving to the left when it comes to politicians any time soon.

  5. mike from iowa says:

    Alaska may well be more progressive than I think,except for the freakin’ maroons that run(ruin) everything. The state could do well choosing leaders from this site-both administration and visitors,from Alaska proper. The rest of us can cheer from a distance.. .

  6. Alaska Pi says:

    So, are the folks going to vote they way they poll?
    Or are they going to stay home, as too many have done in recent years, and let the dedicated right wing super voters continue to run this state?
    We do ok in my district but it is not enough…

  7. Zyxomma says:

    “That’s right, candidates. If you want to appeal to the majority of your constituents, you’ll be pro-same-sex marriage, pro-legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use, pro-extension of unemployment benefits, pro-increasing minimum wage, and pro-repealing Sean Parnell’s disastrous SB21 oil tax rollback.” And against Palin. ;)

  8. Ice Gal says:

    We will see after the next election. My guess is we will continue to go backwards rapidly.

  9. John says:

    Lots of people think the GOP represents their views on key issues until you ask them what their views are and compare them to the party’s leadership. Orwhat passes for leadership these days.

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