Alaskans think just about any Republican candidate could defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election — except their own former governor and one-time vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
"It's been nearly five years since Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, and she still hasn't come anywhere close to regaining her popularity," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said about the survey.
polled 582 registered voters, including 313 Republicans, between May 8 and May 11. Of those polled, 19 percent said they think Palin should seek the White House, compared to 74 percent who think she should sit out the race.
Even among the Republicans polled, 24 percent want her to run but another 70 percent say she should stay out of the race.
Should Palin run against Clinton, 44 percent of the respondents said she would lose the race, with 41 percent saying she would win.
However, other potential Republican candidates could win the race, the respondents said.
Forty-seven percent said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would win, compared to 41 percent saying he would lose. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came out with a 43 percent to 42 percent advantage over Clinton; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was up by 44 percent to 41 percent; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was up by 46 percent to 40 percent.
But Alaskans remain fragmented when it comes to who Republicans want to run for president, the poll showed.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz got 15 percent; Jeb Bush and Chris Christie each got 14 percent; Palin received 12 percent; Huckabee and Paul rang in with 11 percent; Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan netted 4 percent; and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio received 3 percent.
The poll also rated several other matters of interest among Alaskans, including a minimum-wage increase measure to appear on the ballot this fall. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents favored the increase, while 27 percent opposed it.
Republican voters were closely divided on the issue, with 50 percent against the increase and 45 percent for. Democrats, by an 86 percent for to 8 percent against margin, approved of the increase, as did independents, with 71 percent for and 22 percent against.
Numbers also stayed steady on an August vote about repealing the state's Oil and Gas Production Tax. Forty-five percent were for repealing the bill, while 34 percent said to leave it in place, a slight change from February, when the numbers were 43 percent for and 31 percent against.
It is also looking like a close fight over legalizing marijuana, with 48 percent saying they would support legalization and 45 percent saying they would not.
Alaskans are also turning toward supporting gay marriage, the poll said, with 52 percent in favor and 43 percent against. Voters under the age of 65 support it by a 55-41 percent margin, but seniors are still opposed, 39-54 percent.
Alaskans want to remain part of the United States, not secede and return to Russian control as almost 400 people suggested in a recent WhiteHouse.gov "We the People" petition.
Only 4 percent want the state to be under Russian control, and 92 percent are opposed, and while President Barack Obama only has a 38-56 percent approval rating in the state, Alaskans like him more than Russian President Vladimir Putin, who netted a 7 percent favorable and 78 percent unfavorable rating.
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