A new Hays Research poll of the Alaska Senate race showing Joe Miller in third place is getting a lot of attention, but there actually hasn't been a lot of movement in this particular poll. Miller is exactly where he was a week ago, according to Hays:
"If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were (ROTATE NAMES) Joe Miller, Scott McAdams, Frederick Haase, Tim Carter, Ted Gianoutsos, or another candidate you have to write in, for whom would you vote or are you undecided?"
10/18/10: Miller 23%, McAdams 25%, "Write-In" 32%
10/22/10: Miller 26%, McAdams 25%, Write-In 31%
10/26/10: Miller 23%, McAdams 29%, Write-In 34%
Jim Geraghty is skeptical of Hays Research because the pollster flubbed its final 2008 poll. For some reason RealClearPolitics didn't even include the final Hays poll that year (Pollster.com identified the Hays 2008 survey as a Democratic poll). RCP hasn't included the new poll in its average of polls, which shows Miller leading Murkowski by 1 point. On the other hand, 2008 was a difficult year to poll, and Rasmussen's final poll also predicted that Republican Ted Stevens was 8 points down (DailyKos/Research2000 put Stevens down 22 points). I'm simply skeptical that a conservative Sarah Palin-backed candidate could get less than a third of the vote in Alaska.
Miller has definitely had a rough week of press following the handcuffing of a blogger by his security team, and the revelation that he had once lied about misusing computers for political purposes at work--the actual charges were pretty silly: Miller voted in an online poll on four different computers at work. But the Alaska and national press hit him hard for lying about it.
Now, Miller's out with a jokey Halloween-themed ad saying "my opponent is not a witch" but she does have "scary" ideas. Not bad, but Miller needs to portray himself as both conservative and professional (he is a Bronze star winner, Yale Law grad, and judge after all). On a related note, Team Miller might want to read Spencer Abraham's "How to Ride the Wave" in THE WEEKLY STANDARD.