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August 20, 2008

Club Poll Has Parnell Up

Republicans may complain about Democratic interest groups while Democrats have it in for GOP-leaning Freedom's Watch, but the Club for Growth remains the independent organization that has influenced the most elections so far this year. A week after the Club released its first poll of the cycle, they're back with a second in the race in which they would most like to have an impact, Alaska's House contest.

The poll, taken by the Republican firm McLaughlin & Associates, surveyed 300 likely primary election voters on 8/18 for a margin of error of +/- 5.7%. Republican Rep. Don Young, Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell and State Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux were tested.

Primary Election Matchup
Parnell..........44
Young..........42
LeDoux........10

The Club has actively backed Parnell with advertisements slamming incumbent Young. And the poll is consistent with most other public surveys, which show both candidates in the mid-40s in a neck-and-neck contest. Polls also show Parnell running much better against likely Democratic nominee Ethan Berkowitz than would Young.

The Club for Growth can be a nuisance to national Republican leaders. In 2006, the group helped conservative Rep. Tim Walberg oust incumbent moderate Joe Schwarz in Michigan, and in 2008 helped State Senator Andy Harris beat moderate Rep. Wayne Gilchrest in Maryland. Both seats are now Democratic targets. But in Alaska, where Young looks like a sure loser in November and Parnell is in better position, Congressional Republicans have to be singing the group's praises behind closed doors.