Tag Archives: Dittman research

New poll shows GOP Senate candidates Treadwell and Sullivan neck and neck

Anchorage-based Dittman Research released a poll today that shows that GOP Senate candidates Dan Sullivan and Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell running neck and neck. The poll, paid for by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, surveyed 500 likely GOP primary voters May 27 – 29. It showed Mead Treadwell with 35 percent of the vote, Dan Sullivan with 37 percent, and Joe Miller with 12 percent. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

The poll also showed Treadwell with a 74 percent favorable approval rating, Sullivan with a 62 percent, and Miller with a 35 percent favorable rating. Because Independents and nonpartisans are allowed to vote in the Republican primary, Dittman’s sample included 60 percent registered Republicans, Matt Larkin, who owns Dittman, said.

Larkin said that he wasn’t authorized to release the full poll, which also surveyed the lieutenant governor’s race.

Treadwell, naturally, appears happy with the numbers. “Washington, DC power brokers may have made a decision on who the GOP candidate should be, but Alaskans didn’t get the memo,” Treadwell said in a statement. He was referring to Sullivan, who has by far raised the most money in the race and has been considered the frontrunner.

Sullivan’s spokesperson said that it was hard to respond without seeing the full poll. However, he said “one thing is clear, Dan Sullivan is the only candidate that Mark Begich is afraid to take on in the fall.” He said that’s why Begich and those who support him are attacking Sullivan

A poll conducted by Portland-based Moore Research showed that at the end of April, Sullivan had a 16 percent lead over Mead Treadwell and a 26 percentage point lead over Joe Miller with 38 percent of primary voters still undecided.

Moore, like Dittman, is long-associated with Republicans and has a long history for polling for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young. Both firms also polled for the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

Only one thing is for sure: There will be lots of conflicting poll numbers in the coming months.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


More on the Dittman annual legislative poll: School choice has support

Last night, I wrote about Dittman Research’s annual poll commissioned by the Alaska state House Majority. The sample was 800 Alaskan residents from all over the state, and across party lines. It showed that marijuana legalization has the support of 52 percent of the public, with 44 percent opposing it. Raising minimum wage, another initiative on the upcoming ballot, has the support of 69 percent of the people. Gov. Sean Parnell has good job performance ratings at 54 percent, but not nearly as good as last year’s numbers.

What I left out, because I didn’t have the poll then, was what the public felt about education. Now I do. Despite what you might think and have heard, allowing for the use of public funds to go to private schools appears to have wide support across the state.

Here’s the intro paragraph into one set of questions, for which the polling sample was split:

A school choice program allows parents the option of sending their child to the school of their choice, whether that school is public or private, including both religious and non-religious schools. The goal is to improve overall performance by creating healthy competition among the schools. If this program is adopted, a portion of state funds that are currently allocated to a student’s school district would instead follow the student to the school of their parents’ choosing.

Based on that intro, here’s one question:

Would you support or oppose amending Alaska’s constitution to allow a school choice program in Alaska? …and is that strongly or somewhat support/oppose?

  • Strongly support: 32%
  • Somewhat support: 22%
  • Somewhat oppose: 9%
  • Strongly oppose: 33%
  • Unsure: 4%

Here’s the other question which was asked to the other half of the sample:

Please tell me which of the following two statements comes closest to your view:

  • Allowing public funds to be used for private schools will lead to an erosion of Alaska’s public school system: 31%


  • Allowing parents to choose where to send their child to school, and allowing a portion of the public funds to follow the child, will create a healthy competition and improve the overall performance of Alaska’s schools: 61%
  • Neither/Other: 5%
  • Unsure: 3%

The 61 percent who said that public funds going to private schools would increase performance were asked the following:

Would you support or oppose amending Alaska’s constitution to allow a school choice program in


  • Support: 74%
  • Oppose: 13%
  • Unsure: 13%

Notice that the word “voucher” wasn’t used in the poll. Even so, it appears that support is wide and deep. However, it’s still unlikely that a resolution that would put a state constitutional amendment up for vote of the people will pass the Senate this session. Sen. Mike Dunleavy, who is sponsoring the resolution, hasn’t been able to muster the votes. The resolution is in Senate Rules.

A few other issues: Only 13 percent know that oil funds 90 percent of state government. A whopping 16 percent think that it funds anywhere from 1 to 25 percent. This begs the question: why can’t the state and the oil companies do a better job of informing the citizens?

And 31 percent of Alaskans think that making deep budget cuts, at the expense of state services, is the best way to make up for budget deficits. That said, the public always wants budget cuts, until it’s a program that effects their lives.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Dittman poll: Parnell’s support strong but eroding, marijuana legalization iffy and a go for minimum wage hike

Anchorage-based Dittman Research presented the results of its annual Legislative-sponsored poll to Alaska state House members this week. The poll was conducted between March 4-9. Questions ranged from the governor’s job approval, to upcoming ballot initiatives, to state spending. The Legislature’s job performance was also polled. The sample was 800 Alaskan residents from all over the state, across party lines.

In a nutshell, the initiative to increase minimum wage is popular, marijuana might see a struggle, Gov. Sean Parnell’s support is eroding and the people like the state Legislature.

I don’t have the whole poll in front of me, but here are a few tidbits.

    • Minimum wage – 69 percent support increasing the minimum wage, 29 percent oppose and 2 percent are unsure. It has support across party lines. Democrats 87 percent, 52 Republicans percent, non-partisan 78 percent, and undeclared 71 percent support it. Women support it more than men: 74 and 65 percent respectively.
    • Marijuana initiative – 52 percent support legalization, 44 percent oppose it and 4 percent are unsure. Males are more likely to support legalization over women, 55 percent to 49 percent respectively. Surprisingly, the only geographic location where legalization fails is Anchorage, where only 47 percent support it. The biggest areas of support are Rural Alaska and the Interior.
    • Gov. Sean Parnell’s job performance – 54 percent say that the governor is doing a good job. Of those, 6 percent say he’s doing an excellent job. 41 percent say the governor isn’t doing a good job. Compared to last year’s poll, this one reflects a 23 percent slippage in job approval ratings.
    • Legislature job performance — 52 percent say that it’s either doing an excellent/good job and 42 percent say that it’s not very good/poor. Only 6 percent are unsure. Rural areas gave the Legislature the best performance review with the Interior and Southeast giving the poorest.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com