A pretty stunning new poll of Alaska's Senate race shows Joe Miller, the Republican candidate and clear favorite since his primary win, suddenly dropping to third place. And third place is a bad place to be, days before an election.

The poll shows Sen. Lisa Murkowski, whom Miller vanquished in his August primary with the help of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, presumably taking the lead as "write-in candidates" — effectively meaning her — got 34% of support. Democrat Scott McAdams is in second with 29%, and old has-been Joe Miller is now at 23%.

This is probably related to the various small- and medium-sized scandals that have popped up day after day as Miller undergoes a late vetting process. Among them: When his terrifying hired goons handcuffed and detained some local journalist in a hallway; his admission that he used — and lied about using — government computers for political purposes when he was a part-time public employee (although this may have erupted after the poll was taken); his strange, whiny public declaration about how he'd stop talking to the media forever; his hypocritical take on government benefits not being constitutional while he and his wife lived off of them; and maybe some other stuff that only Alaskans will ever know.

Basically, a lot of voters woke up one morning in the past week and decided that this Joe Miller is kind of an ass. Maybe other polls will show the race a bit closer, but there are some ugly fundamentals in this poll that seem to back up Miller's nosedive to a measly 23%. Specifically: 8% of voters feel "somewhat negative" towards Miller, while 60% feel "very negative" towards him. That's a horrible, horrible number — in Christine O'Donnell territory! But no one ever expected her to win shit.

So who knows, now. It seems some race-watchers think Miller will still pull it off, because many of the right-leaning folks who planned on writing-in "Lisa Murkowski" will just get lazy and check the Miller box. This is plausible. Humans are known to be lazy.

[Image via AP]