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Palin Draws Democratic Challenger for 2010 Governor's Race

3:59 PM, Jan 9, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Anchorage Daily News and the AP report that Bob Poe, the former state director of international trade, announced yesterday that he's running against Sarah Palin in 2010:

[Poe] asserted [Palin]'s been out of town and out of touch. Poe, a Democrat, also said the Republican Palin's "divisive, partisan rhetoric" is not good for the state.

Poe said that Palin "may be able to see Russia from her house" but, as the former state director of international trade, he has been involved in actual negotiations with Russian interests.

Palin spokesman Bill McAllister replied that Palin met with the Russian ambassador on Friday and that "if Poe's quoting Tina Fey, then it seems he's the one who wants to talk about stuff other than state business. Maybe he wants to run against Fey?"

As far as divisive partisan rhetoric, McAllister said, that doesn't sound like what's been happening in Alaska the last two years. Palin worked with Democrats and brought people together on oil taxes, a gas pipeline and ethics legislation, he said. ...

"Sarah Palin bragged to the nation she took on Big Oil," Poe said. "This is like publicly telling off your biggest customer. While it may feel good, it doesn't do your business any favors in the long run."

New investment, he said, depends on the perception of the business climate in Alaska.

Palin's approval rating is above 60 percent, and she should probably win reelection easily--as long as the budget crunch created by falling oil prices doesn't do too much damage.

Of course, there's been some speculation that instead of seeking reelection, Palin might decide to challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a 2010 Republican primary. A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll conducted a few weeks ago showed Palin trouncing Murkowski by 24 points, but a poll conducted more recently for The Alaska Standard blog showed the exact opposite: Murkowski over Palin by 27 points. Nate Silver explained that we should be skeptical the latter poll because The Alaska Standard is a pro-Murkowski site. Then again, for whatever reason, the final Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll in the Alaska Senate race was pretty terrible, so perhaps we shouldn't trust either poll.