Wash Post lowers Begich’s chances of winning, still betting on Sullivan in primary

The Washington Posts’ Election Lab, a joint effort between the Post and a group of political scientists, now only gives Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich a 43 percent chance of retaining his seat in the upcoming election. That’s a six-point drop since May, when the Lab gave Begich a 49 percent chance of keeping his seat.

What’s changed? Campaign contributions, said political scientist Eric McGhee, who is a contributor to the project. The group has yet to include polls in its model, and unlike other people and organizations that predict races, its model doesn’t include subjective information, like news accounts and information from party members and insiders. “It’s entirely model-based,” McGhee said. He cautions against putting too much stock into the percentage-point change. A six point percent change, he said, is “basically no change,” and he said that the model is going to constantly show fluctuations.

Also in Sunday’s Post: Chris Cillizza, a political reporter, wrote that conservative blogger Erick Erickson’s endorsement of Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell for Senate gives Treadwell a “much-needed boost.” However, he said that “it’s not going to change the fact that former attorney general Dan Sullivan is the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination.”

To a D.C.-based reporter, the race might seem sewn-up, but Cillizza isn’t taking into account the unpredictable animals that are Alaska Republican primaries. Former Alaska state Rep. Jay Ramras, who ran against Treadwell for lieutenant governor in 2010, was the clear front-runner, until he wasn’t. Lisa Murkowski was certain to win the primary that same year, and then look what happened. At the end of June 2006, insiders in Alaska smirked at the notion that Sarah Palin might beat John Binkley in the Republican primary. Going back farther, Tom Fink’s win against Terry Miller took most everyone by surprise.

The point: A lot can happen between now and August 19.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


3 thoughts on “Wash Post lowers Begich’s chances of winning, still betting on Sullivan in primary

  1. Evan

    I find it humorous to read commenters talking about the strength of Mead’s candidacy. He has attempted to raise money from out of state hosting somewhere between 15 – 25 fundraisers in the Lower 48. He hired one of the GOP’s top fund raising consultants. Yet, he has faile miserably in attracting campaign dollars. This race, like it or not, is between Begich and Sullivan.

  2. Dan

    From your review, its safe to say that you’re wrong. By far Treadwell has much less negatives than Joe or Dan. The reason Begich has chosen Dan to attack in his ads is because he WANTS to run against him in the general because he knows he can paint him as an outside carpetbagger (which he is) theres a reason that 90% of his money is from outside alaska… because his parents, and his brother who happens to be on the board of the national chamber of commerce- the same organization that is pumping money into this race! Do some digging people!

  3. FJK

    Intersting analysis. From my review, its safe to say that Sullivan is the only candidate that Begichj fears, hence the barage of negative attack ads on Sullivan. An out of state Begich strategiist was recently overheard saying, “that a vote for anyone other than Sullivan was a vote for Begich”. Why other Repiblicans don’t see this is beyond me.
    Is Sullivan wins, Begich stands a good chance of being taken out. If Miller or Treadwell win, game over and Begiich is reielected.

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