The fourth-quarter Senate race numbers are in. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich pulled in about $850,000, leaving him with about $2.8 million cash on hand. His super-PAC raised $287,500, most of which came from the Senate Majority PAC.
Among Begich’s potential Republican challengers:
- Dan Sullivan said that he raised about $1.25 million. A super PAC formed to support him has raised $70,100.
- Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell raised $229,000, leaving him with only $95,000 on hand. Unless Treadwell is willing to self-fund, that doesn’t leave him much to run a credible campaign against Begich.
- No word yet from Joe Miller, who has been more focused on getting grassroots support than in raising money.
Begich is also benefiting from the plethora if business interests, like the American Chemistry Council, the National Association of Realtors, and Bristol Bay Native Corp., all of which are running ads thanking him for supporting particular issues. As long as those organizations aren’t explicitly endorsing him for Senate, they don’t have to disclose their donors.
There’s a lot more money floating out there in the world of conservative super-PACs that hasn’t yet made its way to Alaska. The New York Times is reporting that the more conservative, tea party groups — FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth Action Fund, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Tea Party Patriots—have raised $20 million in 2013.
That’s much more than the $7.7 million the more “establishment” Republican PACs with close ties to Congress have raised, according to the New York Times. Politico is reporting that the three groups headed by Karl Rove raised a combined $6.1 million in 2013. That money would also likely go to support more establishment Republicans.
It’s unclear who the tea party groups would support among the Republican candidates in Alaska. Dan Sullivan’s challengers have been painting him as the “establishment” Republican, a charge that’s fueled by Sullivan himself, who doesn’t shy away from the fact that he worked for Condoleezza Rice in the State Department.
But the tea party faction is leery of Mead Treadwell because of his support for international treaties, particularly the Law of the Sea, and for his on-again-off-again support of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is considered a moderate.
That leaves Joe Miller, who lost in the last race against Murkowski, who was a write-in candidate. Miller can, in a word, be unpredictable.
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