Poll shows Ulmer closed gap with Murkowski

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fran Ulmer has closed the gap between her Republican rival Frank Murkowski, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Ulmer, the current lieutenant governor who trailed Murkowski by 20 percent in polls last spring, is now about even with the Republican contender, according to a poll commissioned by KTUU-TV Channel 2 in Anchorage.

The statewide telephone poll of 400 likely voters was conducted by Craciun Research Group between Oct. 12-14 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Of the respondents surveyed, 46 percent said they favored Ulmer and 43 percent said they backed Murkowski. Seven percent of those polled said they were undecided.

The poll shows that voters are responding to a campaign of detailed proposals to solve the state's budget deficit and other issues, Ulmer said.

''I think people don't want just rhetoric, they really want solutions instead of slogans,'' Ulmer said.

Dan Saddler, a spokesman for the Murkowski campaign, said the Republican senator anticipated a close race. Murkowski returned to Washington D.C. to continue work on energy legislation but participated via telephone in a debate on Wednesday.

Jean Craciun, of Craciun Research Group, said the poll centered on voters who had cast ballots in two of the last three statewide elections.

Craciun is not working for a political candidate. However, campaign finance records show she has contributed to the Democrat candidates in prior elections, including that of Gov. Tony Knowles and Ulmer.

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