FAIRBANKS - A poll conducted this month by Ivan Moore shows that popular perception of 83-year-old Sen. Ted Stevens is near an all-time low among Anchorage voters.
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The survey asked 461 registered voters in Anchorage to rank their perception of the longest-serving Republican in Congress on a scale ranging from very positive to very negative.
Nearly 44 percent of responders fell into the category that had a negative opinion of Stevens. Slightly less than 45 percent had a positive view of the senator.
Stevens, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1968, dismissed Moore's latest poll as biased and said he's confident about his chances in the 2008 election.
"Moore is an opinion-making pollster, not an opinion-taking pollster," Stevens told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Breaking the numbers down further, 12.3 percent of respondents said their opinion of Stevens was very positive, 32.2 percent somewhat positive, 10.9 neutral, 28 percent somewhat negative, 15.7 percent very negative.
The poll has a 4.6 percent margin of error. It was conducted between July 1-7.
Stevens' positive rating between September 2005 and April 2007 ranged between 58 percent and 63 percent, according to Moore's past data. A drop in the last three months to 44 percent is a very significant change, Moore said.
The poll did not mention an ongoing federal corruption probe involving Stevens' son, Ben. The younger Stevens was among several state lawmakers whose offices were raided by the FBI last year. Neither has been charged.
Questions have also been raised by FBI investigators about the remodeling of the elder Stevens' Girdwood home.
Stevens said the ongoing federal probe is a distraction in his bid for an eighth term.
"I have a concern because it lessens the amount of time I have to do congressional work," Stevens said.
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