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Dan Sullivan still leads primary pack

Nine-point lead smaller than last poll from Sullivan camp

Posted: June 26, 2014 - 12:08am

Internal polling commissioned by U.S. Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan’s campaign show the former Alaska Attorney General is holding a nine-point lead over Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell in the race for the Republican nomination.

Joe Miller, the Republicans’ nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010 who went on to lose to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in a write-in campaign, trails Sullivan by 23 points with just 13 percent support, according to the poll.

Despite trailing by nine points in the poll, Treadwell expressed optimism at the fact the poll shows him narrowing what was a 16-point Sullivan lead last month.

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

The Treadwell camp pointed to a Dittman poll commissioned by former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan — a candidate for lieutenant governor — last month that polled likely Republican primary voters and showed Treadwell statistically tied with Sullivan.

“We seem to be doing very well with likely Republican primary voters,” Treadwell said, adding, “To suggest that Dan Sullivan has raised a huge amount of outside money and so he’s the automatic winner is a joke.”

The latest poll was conducted by Portland-based Moore Information — a firm regularly employed by Republicans and most recently by Sullivan in May — and it included 500 telephone interviews of registered voters around the state. The sample was selected to be representative of the state’s party affiliation breakdown.

The poll also broke down results based on the respondents’ opinion on the importance of the election. Sullivan’s lead over Treadwell was larger (46 to 23) among voters who rate the election’s importance as a “10” on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the most important.

Sullivan has maintained his lead while U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s Super PAC, Put Alaska First, has aired multiple attack advertisements against Sullivan. Treadwell and Miller have not been subjected to the same degree of negative advertising.

The majority of Sullivan’s advertising directed at other candidates has been aimed at Begich, as have the ads from Sullivan’s supportive Super PAC, American Crossroads.

According to the Moore poll, Sullivan and Begich are deadlocked at 43 points a piece if Sullivan goes on to win the Republican nomination.

Finally, the poll asked voters if Begich should sign Sullivan’s “Alaska Agreement” which would entail the two candidates calling on their respective third-party supporters to stop running ads for themselves or against their opponent. Overall, 65 percent of respondents said Begich should sign the deal, and 52 percent of respondents who said they are supporting Begich said he should sign.

There has been no indication from the Begich campaign that the senator is considering signing the agreement.

• Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at matthew.woolbright@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reportermatt.

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