New poll shows Senate hopeful Sullivan leads in primary, tied with Begich

A poll conducted for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign released on Thursday shows that Sullivan has a 9 point lead over Lt. Gov. Treadwell among all primary voters, and a 23 percent lead over Joe Miller. Among “likely” voters, Sullivan leads by 18 percentage points over Treadwell and about 28 percent over Miller. Among “very likely” voters, Sullivan is at 46 percent, Treadwell is at 23 percent and Joe Miller is at 13 percent.

Still, 24 percent of all primary voters are undecided. And about 17 percent of likely and very likely primary voters are undecided as well, the poll finds.

The poll was conducted by Portland-based Moore Information, and was paid for by Sullivan. It was conducted June 16-18, in 500 live interviews on both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. Moore is associated with Republicans and has a long history for polling for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young. The firm also polled for the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

According to the Juneau Empire, Treadwell found some good news in the poll. On May 2, Moore Research released a poll that showed among all primary voters, Sullivan had a 16 point lead over Treadwell.

“That’s a great trend,” Treadwell told the Empire after hearing the most recent figures. “By election day on Aug. 19 we should be doing just fine — even by their polling.”

Treadwell also pointed to the recent poll by Dittman Research that showed the two in a dead heat.

Moore Information also polled on Sen. Mark Begich, and found that his numbers continue to fall. A majority of voters — 51 percent — think that Begich should be replaced. It showed that Sullivan and Begich are tied at 43 percent of the vote.

Moore says that Begich’s falling numbers are due to the fact that he is “woefully out of step with his state.”

“His support for Barack Obama’s policies such as the stimulus, Obamacare and his vote for the bailout do not play well in a state where the President’s disapproval stands at 60% and just a third of voters (33%) approve of the job he’s doing,” the memo accompanying the numbers said.

Moore Information also asked about Sullivan’s challenge to Begich to call for super-PACS and other independent groups not associated with the campaign to stop spending money in Alaska. Sullivan issued the challenge earlier this month. According to the poll, 65 percent of those polled said that Begich should sign the agreement. Even 52 percent of those who are supporting Begich said he should.

Begich declined to accept it. His campaign called it “political machination.” Further, Treadwell’s campaign called it a “publicity stunt.”

A similar pledge was agreed to in the 2012 Massachusetts race between incumbent Republican Scott Brown and now Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat. The agreement cut the amount of outside and “dark” money in that race considerably, according to Common Cause, a non-profit, D.C.-based liberal advocacy organization that called on Begich to sign the agreement.

The Washington Post said that, “Many observers were skeptical it would hold given the high stakes in the race and the long history of politicians saying one thing and doing another. This would prove to be an exception. The campaign was like a high-profile game of one-on-one.”

Warren ended up raising $42 million to Brown’s $28 million haul, and she won the race.

Brown is now running as a Republican for New Hampshire’s Senate seat against Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who has proposed the pledge. Scott is refusing to sign it and Shaheen liberal groups and media outlets are attacking him for his refusal.

By and large, those same groups have been silent about Begich not signing the agreement.

This is how the poll question was asked:

As you may know, outside special interest groups are spending millions of dollars on negative political attack ads in Alaska against Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan. In an effort to end the influence of these negative ads funded by outside special interest groups, Dan Sullivan has proposed a simple agreement between Mark Begich and himself. It says that both campaigns call on the groups supporting their campaigns to stop airing these ads, otherwise the campaigns will pay a penalty to a charity of their opponent’s choice every time a negative TV ad is run. The objective is to make it counter-productive for outside special interest groups to try and influence elections in Alaska. This pledge between candidates is the only method that has ever worked to stop these negative TV ads. Do you think Mark Begich should agree to this offer from Dan Sullivan, or not?

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9 thoughts on “New poll shows Senate hopeful Sullivan leads in primary, tied with Begich

  1. LysanderSpooner

    Pollsters working for a campaign are at least as interested in numbers they can spin into a good press release as they are in honest questions and accurate predictions. They’re basically paid to find a way to get the numbers that benefit the campaign. That’s why there’s such a discrepancy between the two polls.

    As an aside, knee-jerk defense of Dittman is not justified. He’s no different than any of them.

  2. John Smith

    My comment wasn’t meant to be a shot. I am just wondering how in the world the two polls, done so closely together, can be so clearly different. Somebody is wrong. Either than or the numbers are somewhere in the middle which would be my guess. Don’t be so sensitive David.

  3. Boney M

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Dittman, Hayes, and a Ouija board walk into a room…

  4. Dave

    Again, attacks on Dittman. What the hell is going on here? Get a grip fake name poster. It’s one thing to not trust or like the numbers, it’s another thing to sound petty and take stupid shots at a good company.

  5. TGH

    This polling firm is a national firm that has a solid history in Alaska. The firm has worked for Ted Stevens, Don Young and both Frank and Lisa Murkowski. They are very reputable and have integrity. Sullivan continues to do well watch out Begich.

  6. John Smith

    Wow, that is quite different from what we heard from the Dittman Research team. Interesting read, thank you for reporting this.

    Now for the interesting part. Attacks against Sullivan for using an outside the state research company in 3…2…1…

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