Fourteen votes were cast. In a tie for fourth place were Charlie Sheen of Two And A Half Men and Ricky Gervais from Extras with no votes. In third place is Monk's Tony Shaloub with two votes (14%). In second place with four votes (29%) is Steve Carrell from The Office. But the runaway winner, with eight votes (58%) is 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin.
I think you've nailed this one. Charlie Sheen's nomination seems primarily to be an acknowledgement that Two And A Half Men is one of the most popular comedies on television, yet critics both years that he has been nominated have been mystified by the fact. I am vaguely surprised that Ricky Gervais didn't get a little more recognition from you for his work on Extras, although of course it is on HBO and votes on my Emmy polls tend to to be hard to come by for cable shows. Likewise I am vaguely surprised by the votes that Tony Shaloub has received for his role on Monk, primarily because it has been my feeling that the show is, to put it bluntly, a bit past its glory days. Or at least that's the impression I've been getting based on what others have written – I don't get a chance to see the show myself.
Which brings us down to Carrell and Baldwin, which I'm convinced is how it will shake out in the actual voting as well. While Carrell plays the hilariously oblivious office manager Michael Scott, a man promoted well beyond the level of his incompetence, beautifully, it is Baldwin who stands out from the pack this year. In what in most shows would be a supporting role Baldwin explodes to prominence, dominating every scene that he's in and doing it effortlessly. It helps of course that Baldwin is a frequently brilliant actor who is also a deft hand at comedy and that the show's writer and executive producer Tina Fey recognise this. As Toby said in the comments for this poll, "With Baldwin, the writers and directors have cut the restraining wires which could have held him back. He could be considered an overwhelming force on the show, but it's delivered with such glee that you can almost sense Tina Fey mentally standing back and enjoying the way he dominates the scenes they share together." Baldwin's presence turns what otherwise could be a fairly standard comedy (in a time when a most "standard comedies" are pretty dismal to be honest) into a shining star.
And yes, I think that it is absolutely certain that the Emmy voters will reward Alec Baldwin for this performance. If they don't give it to either Carrell or Baldwin the Emmy voters should have their collective heads examined.
New poll up in a few minutes.