New Alaska Senate race poll has Treadwell ahead, Sullivan tied with Begich.

A new poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a national firm that’s associated with Republicans, has Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell beating Sen. Mark Begich in the general election. And it has Senate candidate Dan Sullivan tied with Begich. The poll, conducted March 19-20, robo-called 750 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

According to the poll, if the vote was held the day of the call, Treadwell would be leading Begich 47 percent to 43 percent. If the matchup were between Sullivan and Begich, 44 percent would vote for Begich and 44 percent for Sullivan.

In addition, 37 percent approved of the healthcare law, while 60 percent disapproved. And 41 percent approve of President Obama’s job performance while 56 disapprove.

On the face of it, it’s a good-news poll for both Treadwell and Sullivan, who, along with former Senate candidate Joe Miller, are running in the GOP primary.

However, the poll comes with a huge caveat: It’s likely that a segment of the public is confusing two Dan Sullivans in the race. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor, is much more well-known than former Department of Natural Resource Commission and now Senate candidate Dan Sullivan.

Local pollster and political consultant Marc Hellenthal agreed that the public would likely be confused. He said that Senate candidate Sullivan hasn’t done the massive media buy yet necessary to distinguish himself from the mayor of Anchorage.

Too, although it does better in Alaska than some robo-polling firms, Rasmussen has been highly criticized for its biased polls. Nate Silver, the uber polling cruncher, said the following about the firm in 2010:

Rasmussen, for instance, generally conducts all of its interviews during a single, 4-hour window; speaks with the first person it reaches on the phone rather than using a random selection process; does not call cellphones; does not call back respondents whom it misses initially; and uses a computer script rather than live interviewers to conduct its surveys. These are cost-saving measures which contribute to very low response rates and may lead to biased samples. Rasmussen also weights their surveys based on preordained assumptions about the party identification of voters in each state, a relatively unusual practice that many polling firms consider dubious since party identification (unlike characteristics like age and gender) is often quite fluid.

Read more here. 

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19 thoughts on “New Alaska Senate race poll has Treadwell ahead, Sullivan tied with Begich.

  1. Phoebe

    Essentially this is demonstrative of a major component of the election: Alaskans will support fellow Alaskans. This is what a senatorial role is responsible for, representing the state on a federal scale to the best of his/her ability. Mead Treadwell stands out as the people’s choice because of his unique focus on education and jobs and his ability to keep a constructive state-level focus in working towards his goal of a relatively self-sufficient Alaskan legislature.

  2. Andrew

    How will outside support be IN favor for Alaskans? It wont! What Alaska needs and wants is a candidate who knows Alaskans, like Treadwell. The strongest candidate to defeat Mark will be the one that Alaska knows. All that this proves by Karl Rove is his spotted track record, and his history of getting things wrong. And for Dan Sullivan, he cares about everything BUT the state of Alaska. Mead thinks about Alaska, day in and day out. We need a man who doesn’t view the seat as simply “one more for their party” but as a seat that serves to serve Alaska. This is what voters want- a person who puts his home before anything else.

  3. Casey

    I’m glad to see these results! I’ve said before and I’ll say again any conservative is better than Begich. What this highlights is, establishment money has been getting to the wrong conservatives for at least a decade and a half. Treadwell doesn’t need the establishment, He’s got the street cred to beat Begich, the record to beat Begich, and God knows we need that!

  4. Garand Fellow

    So tell me, who would Ted Stevens want us to choose; Afghan Dan, Tread Meanswell, Jumping Joe, or the front man for Reid and Obama? Who might best represent Alaskans and what is important to us?

  5. Sumner

    I am happy to see Alaskans standing behind a great candidate in Mead Treadwell. Mead is the best man for the job as he focusses on the needs of the state, looking to support from within the state instead of searching elsewhere. It’s clear that the more focus each candidate puts towards the state of Alaska, the better voters will respond. Mead is obviously doing the right things in this tight race!

  6. Mark

    Whats also interesting is the poll shows Miller narrowing the gap with Begich cutting his deficit in half in the last 60 days, Down to 11percent from 23 in just a short while. What this means is the race is very competive.

  7. poppy

    The only difference between Begich and Treadwell is that one is a Democrat and the other is a Republican. Both will say anything they think their audiences want to hear. Both are disingenuous politicians. Out of fairness to Begich at least he has enough charisma and support to raise political funds.

  8. Joel

    At some point in ones voter mind, you have to say enough is enough of smoke and mirrors, bate and switch candidates. I would think that Mark Begich qualifies as one of those candidates.
    Thankfully we are only going to have to experience 4 years of his fertilizer sales pitch! Yeah Mark, Obamacare is fertilizer, as well as how you treat Veterans, like fertilizer!
    Mead Treadwell will stand for what Alaska was built on, hard work, vision and resourcefulness. Getting the job done! He’s got my vote!

  9. Lynn Smith

    Alaskans are definitely thinking about the future. We are a unique bunch of Americans who don’t look to outside pollsters for what we should vote for. The critics of this poll forgot an important fact. There’s a reason this poll is more accurate in Alaska–we are a state with one of the least “cell phone only” populations. It seems that Alaskans are looking to someone who knows Alaska’s needs and values, and that someone is Mead Treadwell. He has done a wonderful job as Leutenant Governor, and Alaskans appreciate what he’s done. We aren’t bought off by outside results or outside opinions. This Senate election is about Alaska’s needs, and this poll reflects how people are looking to address those needs.

  10. Pierre DuBois

    “Begich wouldn’t be targeting Dan Sullivan if he didn’t consider Sullivan to be his greatest threat.”

    Although G Davis makes a compelling and factually sound point in stating that an incumbent, Begich, will always try to attack his greatest threat in the opposing party’s primary, I am not sure that Sullivan is his greatest threat nor do I see evidence that says that Begich is more worried about facing Sullivan than he is Lt. Gov. Treadwell. I should state my belief, though, that when it comes down to the three candidates Lt. Gov. Treadwell is the best of the three, in my mind, to lead Alaska.

  11. CW

    The nature of the reliability of this poll is problematic; however, let’s assume that it is accurate within the margin of error. Here’s the deal: Mead Treadwell has been an elected official and has cammpaigned since June for the senate seat. He has good name recognition. Yet, he is unable to attract funds and money I’d the mother’s milk of politics. Mead in the past has spent several hundred thousand promoting himr Lite Governor and now for Senate. To date, Dan Sullivan hasn’t even put his campaign ads on tv yet. Also, he has had about a half million dollars worth of ads thrown against him. Mead is an okay guy but this is not his time. I hope he thinks about getting out before he hurself and looks foolish. This race is going to be a battle between Sullivan and Begich. Anyone who thinks otherwise iis dreaming.

  12. Alden S.

    Although this survey might have been confusing for voters concerning Dan Sullivan, there definitely is only one Mead Treadwell in Alaska, and I find the poll’s results concerning his support within the state heartening. Mead seems to be pulling ahead as the common sense choice for voters, as a true Alaskan who is very much in touch with what the state wants and needs.

  13. G. Davis

    Polling numbers always get media attention and they should. However, the horse race question at this point of the campaign means very little. To me, the numbers suggest that Treadwell has decent name recognition; however, Begich wouldn’t be targeting Dan Sullivan if he didn’t consider Sullivan to be his greatest threat. When this race is done, Treadwell most likely will come in 3rd in the three way primary.

  14. Jack

    This just goes to show that it takes more than Karl Rove’s money and Condoleezza Rice’s publicity to sway Alaskans. Treadwell has Alaska and Alaskans at his heart.

  15. Bob Thwing

    Mead is a true Alaskan! That’s why he has such strong ground level support. He has proven himself.

  16. John Nelson

    DNR Dan Sullivan is more interested in getting outside money than learning the Alaskan issues. Treadwell is the man with an extensive Alaskan history and family that reside right here in AK. It makes sense that Karl Rove would support DNR Dan, he usually doesn’t get the dynamics of Alaskan life. Karl if you read this, it is time for you to back away from Dan, he will be another loser on your record of support.

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