On Sunday, two inside-the-beltway publications, Roll Call and The Hill, featured stories focusing on the 2014 Alaska Senate race.
Roll Call headlined its article as one of its 12 “Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Alaska Senate.” The publication announces what Alaskans had known for years: Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is vulnerable. According to the article, the race is currently rated a Tossup/Tilt-Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Roll Call said the fight between the top two Republican candidates — Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan — is less about ideology and more about who can beat Begich, which is kind of true. However, Treadwell has increasingly positioned himself to the right, particularly on social issues, while Sullivan has steadfastly refused to go there.
In any case, the first real fundraising test is coming up. FEC financial disclosures are due on Jan. 30.
Enter the money game.
The Hill’s article, “Five Fundraising Numbers To Watch,” focuses on the importance of former Alaska DNR commissioner Dan Sullivan’s year-end campaign cash totals as a number to watch:
Republican strategists have been predicting a big fundraising quarter from Sullivan, a former Bush appointee with close ties to a number of national Republicans. His brother is a top fundraiser for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).Sullivan’s main primary opponent, Alaska Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell (R), has struggled so far with fundraising, bringing in just $200,000 last quarter. If Sullivan can post a huge fundraising quarter, it could help establish him as the clear front-runner on the GOP side. But if he fails to live up to the hype, the primary could turn into a slugfest.
If nothing else, the article suggests that Sullivan’s D.C. Republican squirrels have been chirping into the ears of reporters, which I suppose is indicative of a campaign that’s capable of raising money. But it’s also worthy of note that those chirpers likely themselves have a financial interest in Sullivan’s fundraising prowess.
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