Poll questions give preview into possible upcoming Senate ads

Below are some interesting questions that a reader was asked from a polling firm testing the strengths of various messages, which could potentially both support and/or work against Senate candidates Dan Sullivan and Sen. Mark Begich. It’s unclear who paid for the survey. In any case, who’s paying for it is less interesting than the questions themselves, which give a preview into what’s likely to come to a television screen near you. (An interesting note: although the questions run the gamut, nothing was asked about the Pebble Mine, which, as the pro-Begich super-PAC Put Alaska First is well aware, will be a big issue in the race.)

Keep in mind that some of them are rough and may not be transcribed perfectly. The reader was typing them as fast as his or her fingers could go. Also note that my job here wasn’t to fact check statements or the assumptions embedded in the questions, some of which are patently false. (Dan Sullivan did not defraud the VA, for instance. There’s absolutely no proof that Mark Begich did anything nefarious in business deals with local developer Jon Rubini. And I’ve never once heard about him keeping a helicopter here.)

Here it goes:

1) If the Republicans take control in November with Dan Sullivan replacing Mark Begich in the Senate along with many other Senate seats, Senator Lisa Murkowski will become the Chair of the Energy Committee.

  • Does this make you more likely to vote against Mark Begich in November?

2) Did you know that Dan Sullivan…

  •  Lived in Alaska for 20 years?
  • Served in the military and worked for President Bush?
  • Sued Obama over ObamaCare?

3) Did you know that Mark Begich…

  • Voted with Obama 97% of the time?
  • Likes the EPA?
  • Took on the Pentagon to save 2,000 jobs in Alaska?

4) What are the qualities you want in a senator for the Alaska Senate seat?

  • True Alaskan.
  • In touch with Alaska.
  • Fiscal conservative.
  • Shares my values.

5) Do you agree or disagree with the following statements about Mark Begich?

  • Independent of national Democrats.
  • Takes credit for things that he didn’t do.
  • Do you believe he is too supportive of ObamaCare?
  • Do you believe that he is too close to Obama?
  • Too liberal?
  • Do you believe that he is lost touch with Alaska?


6). Have you seen, heard or read anything about Mark Begich voting together with Senator Lisa Murkowski?

  • Did it make a difference in how you thought of Mark Begich?

7) Sexual assault in the Alaska Army National Guard: Governor Parnell knew and did nothing. Sullivan should have done something and did nothing at all.

  • Would you consider this assertion serious, some, minor, or is not an issue?

8) In recent months wiretapping of Americans has come to light.

  • How do you feel about Dan Sullivan taking contributions from wiretapping companies?

9) Dan Sullivan defrauded the VA system with a contract through his family company on a paint job.

  • Would you consider this assertion serious, some, minor, or is not an issue?

10) Dan Sullivan is an Outsider and cost Alaskan taxpayers $22 million dollars through mismanagement of funds for retirees and at the same time paid a New York firm to do his job while working for the State of Alaska.

  • Would you consider this assertion serious, some, minor, or is not an issue?

11) Dan Sullivan too close to the Koch brothers: He wanted to keep the refinery open, but didn’t do enough to keep it open.

  •  Would you consider this assertion serious, some, minor, or is not an issue?

12) Dan Sullivan is an Outsider and has claimed to have lived in Alaska for several different amounts of years in different speeches. Sullivan even mentions this in an email to Palin about his Outsider status from not living here as an asset.

  • Would you consider this assertion serious, some, minor, or is not an issue?

13) Mark Begich pays female staff 77 percent less than male staff.

  • How does this unequal pay for women affect your view of Mark Begich?

14) Mark Begich voted for ObamaCare, millions have lost their plans and many will face insurance rate hikes and private shops will be forced to close because of money on healthcare.

  • Would you consider this assertion serious, some, minor, or is not an issue?

15) Money for friendship: How much can friendship buy? In the case with Jon Rubini it was millions of dollars. Mark Begich changed zoning of lands in Anchorage so Rubini could sell lands and then gave Begich’s campaign money. The ADN article (read quote from article) mentioned this deal.

16) Mark Begich got millions for the VA so veterans could go to village clinics. Is this a reason to support Begich?

  • What about his stance against gun control?
  • Kept a helicopter in Alaska?
  • Took on No Child Left Behind?
  • Fought Obama for oil exploration/expansion?

As I said, some of this is pretty rough, but the questions give an idea of where things are headed.

Contact Amanda Coyne at Amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


8 thoughts on “Poll questions give preview into possible upcoming Senate ads

  1. arctic Urbanophlie

    Everyone is acting like this is a pivotal election, but in reality it’s kind of just a place holder until 2016. Republicans will probably pick up the Senate with 51 or 52 seats, but nothing will get accomplished with Obama probably using extensive veto power. Then in 2016 Republicans have to defend seats in blue Wisconsin, Illinois, and Pennsylvania plus swing seats in Indiana, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Arizona during what is most likely going to be a strong Hilary run. In the short term Alaska features heavily into control of the Senate. In the long term Begich’s seat means very little as Democrats have many options to retake the Senate in 2016. Plus Obama will gone in 2016 making Begich’s claims of being a “throne” in his side irrelevant. This whole election is just another illustrative example of Begich overselling his importance and effectiveness. Lisa have been more effective in the minority than Marky Mark has been in the majority.

  2. admin

    @Pat. It’s testing messages. Candidates like to know both what’s coming at them and what works against their opponents.

  3. Anonymous

    Gal – you’re right. Sen. Mark will look you in the eye and tell you exactly what you want to hear – the Panderer in Chief. He nearly bankrupted Anchorage and now we let him play with trillions? Not any more after November.

  4. Anonymous

    Mayor Begich wrote to the Planning Commission urging them to rezone Rubini’s property so it could be sold to the Feds for double the price, even though a rezone wasn’t necessary. Conveniently, he failed to disclose his partnership relationship with Rubini on his financial disclosure form (a business interest given to Begich for free, or apparently for services to be rendered later!) So, how does one forget that they are partners with the biggest, most powerful developer in Alaska? No wrongdoing Amanda? The whole deal smelled then and still stinks today.

  5. Winston

    Interesting and extremely negative themes being tested. It says a lot about the two different campaigns and how they started their general electin races. Sullivan started with a positive ad, Begich immediately went negative. Begich has so many skeletons in his closet. I hope that his lies and cover-ups are made public in this race.

  6. Gadid Gal

    DNR Dan will “…cast the race as a referendum on Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.” wrote the AP after the primary.

    Yep, that will resonate in Kodiak, Kivalina and Cold Bay.

    It’s sure not what we’re talking about around my dinner table. The high cost of energy and transportation, educating our kids, access to health care, the assault on women’s rights, the threats to our natural way of life – that’s what Alaskans are talking about, Dan.

    But Dan is taking his marching orders from the RNC/Karl Rove/Koch Bros (which has set up an office in Anchorage) and they have defined his ‘winning’ message. They also have told him to snub the Alaska press whenever possible, as witnessed in every community Dan has touched down in (“visited” would be an exaggeration).

    You can say/think what you want about Mark Begich, but the man is everywhere in Alaska, talking with people, looking us in the eye, taking on every question and comment. You can’t deny his commitment to real Alaskans and his knowledge and caring about our state. He is no carpet bagger like DNR Dan who has to use his wife’s Alaska bona fides to make any connection at all.

    To see how well Tin Soldier Dan obeys his distant handlers, one need only look at the video by NBC when he was pressed on his Violence Against Women Act stance. He looks like a deer in the headlights and stammers and hems and haws and won’t answer and awkwardly shifts to the Obama/Harry Reid message. Dan’s wife and three daughters should’ve slapped him for that.

  7. Lynn Willis

    I read this survey and then sometimes feel like a Warthog on the Serengeti having to live with Lions (Republicans) and Hyenas (Democrats). Now I am being asked to vote in an election between the Lions and Hyenas. I know for sure I am neither a Lion nor a Hyena nor could I ever actually be included in the pride or the pack. I know for sure that I am a prey species for both so I don’t trust either of them. I clearly understand that if two Hyenas or two Lions vote with one Warthog on the issue of “what’s for dinner” the vote will be the same. However, I also know that they hate each other and will kill each other if given a chance.
    Therefore, despite my disdain for the current Hyena in office, maybe I would be better off to keep one Lion and one Hyena in office on the chance that while they are trying to kill each other I can be left alone for at least another day.

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