A new poll released Tuesday shows Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would have a relatively easy time unseating Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the upcoming 2010 Republican primary and would cruise to victory in the general election as well.
The poll, conducted by Research 2000 and the Daily Kos, has Palin leading incumbent Murkowski 55 percent to 31 percent in the matchup between the two. The poll comes amid rampant speculation that Palin may take the plunge in a run for the Senate before seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 or 2016.
The commanding 24-point lead shows Palin would have little trouble in the Republican primary contest against Murkowski, who was appointed to the position in 2004 by her father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski.
Palin, who was recently named Time magazine’s runner-up for person of the year, defeated the elder Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 2006.
The poll also looked at potential general election match-ups for the Alaska Senate seat in 2010, including a possible rematch against Democrat Tony Knowles, whom Palin defeated in the governor’s race in 2006.
Palin, the Daily Kos poll shows, would beat Knowles by a margin of 14 points, 53 percent to 39 percent.
Sen. Murkowski told Politico this month that Palin would face a “tough election” if she were to run against her for the Senate in 2010, citing her vast experience in Alaskan politics and her work on several powerful Senate committees.
“If she were to kind of move me over, if you will, to run for national office again at the expense at this seniority that’s been built, I don’t know if Alaskans would look too favorably on that,” Murkowski told Politico.
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