Now onto Team Blue:PPP's newest Alaska poll finds the Republican primary for Senate becoming increasingly less competitive. Dan Sullivan is now out to a 14 point lead with 40% to 26% for Mead Treadwell, 14% for Joe Miller, and 3% for John Jaramillo.
The race has been moving more and more in Sullivan's direction in our polling over the last nine months. In July Treadwell led Sullivan 33/25. Since then Sullivan's support has moved from that 25% mark last summer to 30% in February and now 40%. Meanwhile Treadwell dropped from 33% in July to 25% in February and is now pretty much holding steady with his 26% mark.
In a relief to Republicans Miller's support has been going in the wrong direction as well, from 24% over the summer to 20% in February to now 14%. His favorability even with GOP primary voters is only 28/52, and there no longer appears to be a real threat of his winning the nomination. Sullivan is dominating with the conservative voters who helped Miller win the 2010 primary. - PPP, 5/13/14
I'll have a diary about Joe Miller (R. AK) cozy up to the Alaskan Libertarian Party soon but all in all, encouraging numbers today. Of course the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove will spend big to take Bagich's seat. Click here to donate and get involved with Begich's campaign:Mark Begich leads all of his potential Republican opponents, but the match ups are pretty close across the board. He's up 42/37 on Sullivan with third party candidates combining for 7%, he's up 41/33 on Treadwell with third party candidates combining for 9%, and he's up 43/27 on Miller with third party candidates combining for 6%. His leads over Sullivan and Treadwell stood at 4 and 6 points respectively in February, so the race is largely unchanged. Voters are closely divided in their feelings about Begich with 44% approving of him and 45% disapproving.
Begich is staying ahead despite the state's GOP lean because of his strong support from independents. He leads Sullivan by 19 points, Treadwell by 20 points, and Miller by 27 points with them. He also has a more unified party with 76-79% of Democrats saying they'll vote for him, while only 55-70% of GOP voters say they're committed to their potential party nominees for this fall.
This is one of the first tier Senate races where who the undecided voters are could prove problematic for the Democratic incumbent though. Among voters who are undecided in the match up between Begich and Sullivan, Begich has just a 12/54 approval spread and Barack Obama's approval rating comes down at 9/71. It's not likely Begich is going to end up winning a lot of those voters, but if there's a silver line for him it's that only 37% voted for Romney in 2012 to 21% for Obama and 42% who voted for a third party candidate. They probably won't vote for Begich, but they might not vote for Sullivan either- Alaska's unusual level of willingness to vote for third party candidates could end up making a difference here by allowing Begich to squeak through without getting to 50% of the vote. - PPP, 5/13/14