A chart shows job approval ratings by party affiliation for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski between Jan. 20, 2021 and June 30 of this year. The 22% increase since the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency is among the biggest for senators. A different poll shows her losing to a Republican challenger among voters of that party in Alaska, but winning reelection due to cross-over votes from Democrats under the new ranked choice voting system.  (Source: Morning Consult)

Poll: Murkowski’s net approval up 22% during Biden administration

Morning Consult survey says Alaska incumbent’s popularity rising more than almost any other senator

Add another unusual poll number to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s history of them, as a survey published Monday states her net job approval rating has increased by 22% since President Joe Biden took office.

“The Alaska Republican, who is facing a fierce primary challenge over her vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, has seen her popularity improve more than almost any other senator throughout Joe Biden’s presidency,” notes a summary by Morning Consult, which conducted the survey.

Murkowski’s rating during that time has soared among Democrats and improved among Republicans. However, other polls shows her losing to Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka among GOP voters yet winning reelection in November due to cross-over votes from Democrats under the state’s new ranked choice system.

The incumbent’s favorable/unfavorable rating was 35/50 among all voters on Jan. 20, 2021, but is above water for the first time during the Biden administration with a 46/39 split in the most recent poll, according to Morning Consult. The split among Republicans has improved from 20/76 to 41/46 during that time, while among Democrats it has risen from 46/42 to 62/23. Her rating among independents has gone from 41/34 to 41/42.

Spokespeople for Murkowski and Tshibaka offered expected spins on the results in email statements.

“It’s clear that voters favor candidates who get things done, and that independent-minded legislators are the ones moving policy forward,” wrote Nate Adams, Murkowski’s campaign manager. “Lisa Murkowski consistently delivers real results for our state and the people of Alaska appreciate that.”

Mary Ann Pruitt, an advisor to the Tshibaka campaign, repeated a statement following a poll in early July showing the challenger ultimately losing the general election due to ranked choice voting.

“Lisa Murkowski has never reached 50 percent in any of her Senate elections and that’s not going to change this time,” the statement asserts. “Kelly Tshibaka will be the next senator from Alaska.”

Murkowski’s most notorious voter statistics, of course, came in 2010 when she became the first senator in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign, after she was narrowly defeated in the Republican primary by Joe Miller. Her poll numbers, particularly in recent years, have varied greatly among voters in both parties following her actions on matters such as the impeachment votes on former President Donald Trump and the confirmation of some of his Supreme Court justices.

Contact reporter Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com.

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