Galvin gains ground on Young in House race

Chris Klint — October 9th, 2018

The latest challenger to Alaska’s longtime U.S. representative has closed much of the distance between them, according to a new poll released this week.

A telephone poll of 500 likely or certain Alaska voters, taken last week by pollster Ivan Moore’s Alaska Survey Research, shows Rep. Don Young getting 49.7 percent of the vote versus independent Alyse Galvin’s 46 percent – a margin of just 3.7 percent. That spread is down from 11.3 percent less than two weeks earlier, when a Sept. 21-25 poll showed Young ahead by 53.8 percent to Galvin’s 42.5 percent.

The undecided vote remained about the same, rising from 3.7 percent to 4.3 percent in the two polls.

It's still too early to count Young out, who became dean of the House -- its longest-serving member -- in December. During Young’s last bid for re-election, in 2016, he defeated Democrat Steve Lindbeck by about 44,000 votes to win his 23rd two-year House term.

Galvin, of the education group Great Alaska Schools, launched her bid for Young’s seat in January. A September debate between the two in Anchorage became personal, when Galvin said Young has been “missing in action” protecting Alaska businesses and Young called Galvin “nasty” in return.

Young still retains a significant lead in name recognition over Galvin in Moore’s latest poll, with just 1.6 percent of people not knowing his name versus 45.6 percent for Galvin.

Some 39.6 of people surveyed had very or somewhat positive views of Young, while another 41 percent had somewhat or very negative views of him; for Galvin, those numbers were 24.9 percent and 7.9 percent respectively. Some 17.8 percent of respondents had neutral views on Young, with 21.7 percent saying the same about Galvin.

The October poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent, according to Moore.

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