A poll released Friday by Public Policy Polling found that Alaska voters would pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the state's former Republican governor, Sarah Palin, if the two women were to face off in the 2016 presidential election.
Clinton led with 49 percent in the hypothetical match-up, with Palin at 40 percent, a nine-point gap. As of July 3, Republicans comprised 27 percent of the state's registered voters and Democrats made up just 14 percent. The last time Alaskans opted for the Democrats' presidential candidate was in 1964.
Clinton trails five other hypothetical GOP candidates – Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – in general election match-ups. Just 18 percent of Alaskans said Palin should run for president and 77 percent said she should not run.
Palin resigned her post as governor in 2009 in the wake of the 2008 presidential election that propelled her to national fame as the GOP vice presidential candidate. She said frivolous ethics complaints made her unable to fill her term as governor and she became a staple of Republican activism and punditry.
Despite Palin's poor showing against Clinton, she does sit in second place in a fragmented hypothetical GOP primary, with her 14 percent share surpassed only by the 18 percent held by Paul. Christie trails her by one percentage point.
Last month Palin floated the idea of running against Alaska's Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, a freshman, in 2014. According to PPP, she trails by 12 points - a closer race than in February, when PPP detected a likely 16-point Begich lead.
The poll surveyed 890 Alaska voters, including an oversample of 507 Republican primary voters, July 25-28. For general election questions, its calculated margin of error was 3.3 percentage points. PPP is a Democratic polling firm.