As any good CEO will tell you, choosing and grooming your replacement is one of the most important jobs you have. Now obviously, Sarah Palin didn’t pick Sean Parnell to be her Lt Governor, the Alaskan people did, and they made an excellent choice.
Sarah’s contribution was setting up a solid, efficient, capable administration that was able to achieve great things for Alaska. By any measure, she was an enormous success. But, as any great leader will tell you, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
As Governor, Sarah Palin created an incredibly capable leadership group. A group that was able to help her fulfill all of her campaign promises to the Alaskan people, including the 50 year dream of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48, a project that is right on track.
One of the reasons Sarah was able to make the decision to step down as Governor was the fact she had such a dynamic leader as Sean Parnell waiting in the wings. Parnell shared Sarah’s solid vision for Alaska, and vowed to carry on with that vision.
It comes as no surprise then that Governor Parnell, despite having two challengers, is looking at a landslide victory in the Alaska GOP primary.
Parnell would defeat Ralph Samuels 69%-9% and Bill Walker by 69%-4% in the 2010 Republican primary election, according to a new poll conducted by Basswood Research. The poll also found that 79% of Alaskans likely to vote in the upcoming primary approve of the job Sean Parnell is doing as governor, and 71% of voters view Parnell favorably.
This poll was conducted for the Parnell campaign, and is consistent with other recently released independent polls. A recent Dittman Research poll shows Sean Parnell’s job approval at 81% among all voters, according to a news story published February 25 by the Alaska Dispatch. And, a January poll by Hays Research Group showed Parnell’s approval rating at 73% [http://www.haysresearch.com/page2/page27/page27.html].
According to the new poll:* Sean Parnell would easily win the Republican primary if it were held today, capturing 69% of the vote, with 13% split between Ralph Samuels and Bill Walker, and 18% still undecided.
* Parnell would defeat Ralph Samuels by more than 60% and Bill Walker by fully 65%.
* 79.4% of likely voters in the upcoming Republican contest approve of the job Parnell is doing as governor.
* 71.2% of likely voters in the 2010 Republican Party primary view Parnell favorably.
"At present, the race between Parnell, Ralph Samuels, and Bill Walker for the Republican nomination is, for all practical purposes, no contest, with Parnell holding a massive 60-point lead," said pollster Jon Lerner in a memo to the Parnell Campaign. "Parnell maintains large leads among every voter segment, including a 69%-7% lead among moderate Republicans and Independents, and a 71%-10% lead among conservative Republicans and Independents. There is quite simply no primary voter segment that favors Parnell’s opponents."
Further details on the poll can be found here: http://www.parnellgovernor.com/News/march-2010.pdf.
"I’m grateful for the strong support of so many Alaskans," said Sean Parnell. "It is a great honor to serve as governor, and with their support I will continue to work hard to build our economy, develop our resources, and improve the quality of life for Alaska’s families."
This survey of public opinion in Alaska was conducted by Basswood Research on February 27-28, 2010, among 500 likely Republican primary election voters. All interviews were conducted by professional interviewers by telephone. Interview selection was at random from among lists of registered voters with a history of voting in Alaska Republican primary elections. The sample was constructed to statistically correlate with actual voter distributions in the state. The accuracy of this statewide survey is within +/-4.38% at a 95% confidence interval.
While Walker was never a serious consideration, Ralph Samuels was attempting to mount a strong campaign. Or at least was until Stacy Drake reminded everyone about some questionable dealings and problems with his resume. You can read about those here and here.
It should be noted Governor Parnell, using common sense conservative leadership has maintained the same kind of high approval ratings that Sarah Palin enjoyed during her tenure as Governor.
Sarah Palin, now a national leader, can certainly look back with pride and take great satisfaction knowing that the team she put together is performing so well for the Alaskan people. Her job as Alaska’s CEO fulfilled.
Meanwhile, Governor Parnell is proving himself to be a strong decisive leader and a real star in his own right, a leader who is keeping Alaska strong. Not sure if it’s the clean air or the pure water, but there is something about Alaska that is producing outstanding conservative leaders.
We could certainly use that sort of leadership in Washington!