In a three way contest with Murkowski running as the Libertarian candidate [Republican Joe] Miller leads but with only 38% to 34% for Murkowski and 22% for [Democrat Scott] McAdams. Democrats have been hopeful that Murkowski will run on the assumption she would split the Republican vote but her supporters actually go 47-23 for McAdams in a two way contest with Miller.
Murkowski’s support is pretty evenly distributed across the board- she gets 38% of independents, 32% of Republicans, and 28% of Democrats. Miller gets 59% of the Republican vote and McAdams gets 57% of the Democratic vote.
Miller leads McAdams 47-39 without Murkowski in the race.
This poll does not mean that Murkowski will run as a Libertarian. Wes Benedict, the national party’s Executive Director, has come out against such a move. However, Alaska LP State Chair Scott Kohlhaas is at least open to the idea for the press it could give the party. (This may not be surprising; Kohlhaas is running a serious campaign for the state legislature and is likely hoping for a down-ballot effect).
A Libertarian Murkowski campaign would require the current nominee, David Haase, to step aside. However, many commenters at IPR have noted that when Haase was the LP Senate candidate in 2008, he eventually dropped out to endorse incumbent Republican Ted Stevens. Further, he actually endorsed the McCain-Palin campaign for President. Thus, it appears the biggest roadblock would be gaining the approval of the state party’s Executive Committee.
Despite claims to the contrary, it appears that Murkowski has not yet approached the Libertarian Party about a run. However, with these strong poll numbers I would not be surprised if it does not happen soon. You can see the full poll results here.