Dan Sullivan or Dan Sullivan? Alaskans are confused.

Sullivan v Sullivan KTUU 5This should have been a good morning for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan. FEC filings show that he brought in $1.4 million in the first quarter of this year, which runs from January to March. He raised $100,000 more than he announced last week. This means that he bested U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the quarter by about $400,000, which is no small feat. Sullivan has filed two quarterly reports, and he’s beat Begich’s fundraising totals in both. He still has just under $2 million cash on hand. But fundraising prowess doesn’t guarantee success, particularly if the public doesn’t know who you are.

The KTUU Channel 2 screenshot was captured on Thursday morning. KTUU has been the number one watched news program in Anchorage for decades. It features a photo not of Sullivan the Senate candidate, but of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who’s running for lieutenant governor. Mistakes like this are made all the time, even by much bigger outlets, and this one is a particularly easy one to make. It was fixed shortly after it was posted.

That said, it speaks to a larger problem: If KTUU’s webmaster is confused about the two Dan Sullivans, then most of the public is too. And Senate candidate Sullivan’s campaign, which has released few ads so far, doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to change that. This confusion likely won’t hurt him in the primary, where the name recognition could serve both of them well. It’ll be a different story, however, in the general election, particularly if Mayor Dan wins his primary. As the mayor of the state’s largest city, a city that many Alaskans feel resentment towards, Sullivan has high negative numbers in some places in the state. And you can bet that U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, who is likely one of that state’s best living politicians, can and will make use of the confusion.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 



4 thoughts on “Dan Sullivan or Dan Sullivan? Alaskans are confused.

  1. admin

    Hello Mayor. I got that from a Republican pollster who read me the numbers on the phone but wouldn’t release the poll. I think it was in Fairbanks and the Valley. I’ll call this person again to check. Do you have a poll you can send to me? If so, amandamcoyne@yahoo.com BTW: Thanks for commenting on the blog. My father loves it.

  2. Mayor Dan

    Amanda – please send me the poll that identifies my “high negative numbers in some parts of the state” (or did you just make that up!) If based on real data, it would be fun to compare with my data.

  3. Campaign Observer

    Senatorial candidate Dan Sullivan should see this as a huge political problem and as a failure of his political campaign. I have watched political campaigns in Alaska for sometime and find Sullivan’s campaign remakable on two levels: 1) first, his campaign is extremely good at raising political funds, and 2) they are amazingly bad at developoing and delivering a qualiity campaign organization and message. Think about it. Six months into the campaign and the state’s largest news organization mistakes the identity of DNR Dan Sullivan. What do you think the average citizen knoiws about him? He obviously has campaign money so why doesn’t he spend some to buy positive name and face recognition? Begich, liike him or not, is running a great campaign with a planned and well executed message. Sullivan’s campaign is hardly high school student council quality. Is he or his campaign advisors and staff the problem? Not sure. I am sure however that Sullivan better up his game and fast or start writing a concession speech.

  4. Lynn Willis

    If you truly cannot figure out who is who I suggest you either vote for both of them or neither of them to insure you get the right one.

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