Challenger Kelly Tshibaka leads Murkowski in an all-party primary with 33.6% of the vote to Murkowski's 18.8%, according to the GOP polling firm Cygnal GOP.
Tshibaka, Alaska's former commissioner of administration, entered the race March 29 and is viewed favorably by 61% of Trump voters as well as the rest of the Alaska GOP, as presented by the poll.
Al Gross, running as an independent who previously was the Democratic nominee for Senate in the 2020 cycle, holds a 17.6% chance among the Alaskan voters, according to the poll.
Tshibaka grew up in Alaska and graduated from Texas A&M University after which he became a Harvard Law School graduate, according to the Anchorage Daily News, which cited her resumé.
She worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C., for just under 17 years under three separate administrations: Bush 43, Obama, and Trump. During that time, she worked for the U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General, National Intelligence, the Justice Department, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Murkowski, however, only has 10% of Alaska Republicans who view her favorably, and 87% look at the three-term GOP senator in a negative light. Among voters from both parties, Murkowski is seen favorably by 33% and unfavorably by 63%.
The GOP incumbent has long been unpopular among grassroots conservatives and the Republican Party base since her father appointed her to his Senate seat after he resigned from the upper chamber in December 2002 to become governor of his state.
The younger Murkowski completed her father's Senate term, which ended in January 2005. Her relationship with conservatives, though, deteriorated further over her time in the Senate.
Despite her three election wins to the upper chamber, Murkowski has never won a majority of the vote. She lost the Republican primary in 2010, which led to her mounting a successful write-in campaign for the Senate seat in the general election. This was aided largely by Native corporations and PACs, as well as by teachers’ and firefighters' unions.
Although former President Donald Trump and Murkowski appeared to make a friendly political connection after a historic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provision was included in the 2017 tax reform bill, it did not take long for that to rupture. By the end of Trump’s term, Murkowski was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump at the second Senate impeachment trial.
Bob Lochner, who ran against Murkowski in 2016, plans on running in the primary as well, he said.
The poll was collected in late March via live calls, text messages, and emails among 500 likely primary Alaska voters and has a margin of error of 4.37 percentage points at a 95% confidence interval.