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Portrait of Dan Sullivan (R), standing outdoors in front of snow-covered evergreen trees
Republican Dan Sullivan is looking to capture his party's nomination for U.S. Senate to face Democratic Mark Begich
Voters in Alaska go to the polls Tuesday to select candidates in their state's primary. Additionally, there were be a special election in Virginia for state Senate that will decide control of the chamber. Wyoming will also hold its primary Tuesday but there isn't much to watch there. Below is our guide to each state. We'll be liveblogging the results at Daily Kos Elections starting at 7:00 PM ET when polls close in Virginia, and returning to Alaska when polls close there at 12:00 AM ET.  

AK-Sen (R): Democratic Sen. Mark Begich will be one of the top Republican targets in the nation, and three noteworthy Republicans are facing off to take him on.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell entered the race early but his disorganized campaign led national Republicans to look elsewhere. They settled on former State Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (not to be confused with the Anchorage mayor of the same name who is running for lieutenant governor). Sullivan and Begich have been trading blows and for months it has looked like the nomination was Sullivan's for the taking. In recent weeks some polls have shown Treadwell narrowing his deficit with Sullivan, but it would be a major upset if he won. It's not obvious who would be the better foe for Begich. Treadwell has raised little money especially compared to Sullivan. However, Treadwell is harder to attack as a carpetbagger than Sullivan, and Republican groups would compensate for his cash deficit.  

Tea partying 2010 nominee Joe Miller is also running. Miller shockingly beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the primary that year but his subsequent campaign alienated much of his own party and allowed Murkowski to win in a write-in campaign. Democrats would love to face Miller, but it looks very unlikely that he'll get a second chance.

Virginia Senate: Democrats got a nasty surprise a few months ago when Democratic Sen. Phil Puckett resigned from very red seat, SD-38. Puckett left to take a job with the state Tobacco Commission and to get Republicans to reconfirm his daughter's judgeship. While Puckett's job fell through, the effects of his departure are keenly felt. The chamber had been tied 20-20 with Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam breaking the tie, but with Puckett gone, the Republicans have control.

SD-38 has been trending heavily in the Republican's direction in recent cycles, and Romney won it with 67 percent of the vote. A Democratic hold is unlikely but Team Blue has a viable candidate in Tazewell County Supervisor Mike Hymes. The Republicans are fielding Del. Ben Chafin, and left-leaning independent Rick Mullins is also in the mix. This has become a very expensive race and no one is taking it for granted. If Democrats won here they'd get the chamber back, but Hymes is expected to have a tough time prevailing here.

Other Races:

In Wyoming, Republican Gov. Matt Mead faces a primary challenge from state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. This is notable not because Mead looks like he's in any danger but because Hill, a statewide elected official, managed to avoid being impeached during the campaign for misconduct.

In Alaska, there will be a ballot measure that would repeal tax breaks to oil companies: A Public Policy Polling survey had it tied 42-42. There will also be two special elections for the Virginia House of Delegates. Both HD-48 and 90 are heavily Democratic, but Republicans are making a play for the Northern Virginia-based HD-48.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Senior Elections Writer, Daily Kos. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident). Formerly known as Darth Jeff.

    by Jeff Singer on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 06:09:03 PM PDT

  •  WY-SD-5 (0+ / 0-)

    That should be an interesting Republican primary.

    Independent, SC-1

    by SC1B on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:02:24 AM PDT

  •  Alaska also votes on an oil industry tax measure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall2

    The New York Times subhead is: Sarah Palin’s Attack on Gov. Sean Parnell’s Plan Aligns Her With State Democrats.

    At stake is the fate of major tax breaks and incentives for the oil industry, part of a system that was pushed through the Republican-controlled Legislature last year by Gov. Sean Parnell, who billed it as a way to stimulate new drilling in the aging oil fields of the North Slope, where production has been in decline for decades.

    Critics of the measure say it excessively benefits oil interests, and are seeking to reinstate a previous tax package known as ACES, or Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, signed into law in 2007 as a hallmark achievement of Gov. Sarah Palin.

    (Of course, I wasn't aware that Governor Palin had any "hallmark" achievements other than resigning, but still....)

    Any group with the word "Patriot" in its name, probably isn't.

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:02:55 AM PDT

    •  I voted in favor of Ballot Measure 1 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lady blair, willyr, Woody

      I am part of the demographic that are consistently under-represented in the polls. UAF has signs up everywhere reminding people to vote, and I hope we prove the pollsters wrong.

      If nothing else, a lot of people who really don't care are voting for it, and against the oil companies, because  they are sick to death of the No On 1 campaign commercials. I counted 15 yesterday, in two hours of watching TV, and Hulu has had one every commercial break for weeks.

      As a non-affiliated voter I had my choice of ballots, so I went ahead and voted for Joe Miller. Lots of cross-over voters this time. The nice young man who was doing the exit poll had on an oil company jacket, although his polo shirt just said "Political Research." He looked disappointed when he heard my husband and I had voted Yes on 1, and the five other people he talked to while we were there also had voted Yes. It may just be our library, but the homemade signs and radio interviews have been at least as effective at getting the Yes campaign's message out, without months of repetitive advertising.

      A professor pointed out last week that almost everyone in the commercials worked for oil companies or were from Anchorage. One of the other students pointed out that Lisa Murkowski was in one, and she lives in Virginia right now. Several people chuckled, and then said that you don't have to live in Alaska to be bought by oil companies. Another student commented that most Republicans have oil running through their veins. This is especially interesting because both of those students are currently interning for Republicans.

  •  I'm in Alaska right now (0+ / 0-)

    I got the two Sullivans confused, too.

    Joe Arpaio and Sarah Palin have endorsed Miller within the past week; it will be interesting to see if that maters.

    There is a very important referendum here. The legislature enacted a significant tax cut for the oil industry and the cut has been petitioned to referendum. Almost the entire Establishment of the state is behind the cut, with the exception of Sarah Palin who supports the higher taxes on the oil industry (!) and Mark Begich who is lying low, trying to avoid offending anyone. Yet here in Anchorage I see pro-tax signs outnumbering the anti-tax signs by at least three to one! Tomorrow will be interesting.

  •  Special Elections (0+ / 0-)

    In the Senate District I think it will be a 55-37-8 republican win.
    In the Arlington House seat it will be 55-45 for Sulivan.
    And in the Norfolk district the Democrats will hold it 72-28.

    Independent, SC-1

    by SC1B on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:33:21 AM PDT

  •  It's the Republican barn coat! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby, Westy Parnes

    That's the same coat that has been passed down from Fred Dalton Thompson (who dropped the Dalton & picked up a red pickup), Lamar Alexander and even Rick Perry. Put it on over your monogrammed shirt & tie, and instantly you become a whoopin' hollerin' country man of the people.

    Expect that coat to adorn one of the young Bushes in the future.

  •  A Carhartt coat is a requirement (0+ / 0-)

    now for any Republican who heeds a slummin' in the stix costume.

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