Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ivan Moore Poll Shows Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell Leads Republicans In The Race To Unseat Democratic Senator Mark Begich

On January 19th, 2014, Sheila Toomey, the proprietess of the humorous and informative Alaska Ear column, informed us that Alaska Ear is going dark permanently. This is too bad, since it was one of the top features in the Anchorage Daily News. But what really caught my attention was this offhand comment about the U.S. Senate race in Alaska: "An Ivan Moore poll reported that Treadwell would win if the election were held now. The results were Treadwell, 34.1 percent; Sullivan, 28.5 percent; and Miller, 19.4 percent". Back in a speculative PPP survey taken in July 2013, in response to the question (Q6) "If Sarah Palin didn’t run for the Senate, and the candidates were Joe Miller, Dan Sullivan, and Mead Treadwell, who would you vote for", the numbers were Treadwell 33 percent, Sullivan 25 percent, and Miller 24 percent.

But this is the first Alaskan-originated poll designed to gauge how the big three Republican challengers, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, and former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, are faring in their quest to unseat incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich. To avoid confusion with Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is running for Lt. Gov., Moore's pollsters referred to the senatorial Sullivan as "former DNR commissioner Sullivan" during the polling. However, it appears Ivan Moore is developing a new website and hasn't posted the details of this poll. Fortunately, Amanda Coyne, who formerly worked for Alaska Dispatch, published additional information on her blog. Coyne says the poll was conducted between Dec. 15-22 and sampled 335 Alaskan voters likely to vote in the 2014 Republican primary race. The respondents consisted of 55 percent Republican and 45 percent independents, or those who are registered as nonpartisans; they are the only groups allowed to vote in the closed Republican primary election to be held on August 19th.

I am not surprised that Mead Treadwell is the early leader. Treadwell offers a fine-tuned balance of economic and social conservatism; he continues to burnish his pro-life and pro-family credentials. However, Treadwell checks in second in money raised with $327,000 through the end of September 2013; in contrast, Dan Sullivan has raised $1.25 million during that same time period. Although the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is officially neutral in the race, Politico reports that the NRSC's vice chairman, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), has long been tight with Sullivan, who was born in Ohio. This leads to questions as to how much of Sullivan's money has been contributed by Outside sources. However, Treadwell has not yet taken his campaign in that direction; so far, he's directed his rhetoric overwhelmingly against Mark Begich. Treadwell campaign spokesperson Rick Gorka did tweet "Money can't buy experience or roots".

Meanwhile, Joe Miller has taken steps to become more competitive and, in particular, carve into those huge negatives revealed in the July 2013 PPP survey (Q1 Republican toplines indicated 53 percent Unfavorable). Miller finally decided to pull the plug on his simmering legal feud with Alaska Dispatch when he notified the Alaska Court of Appeals that he intended to drop his challenge of a lower court ruling awarding more than $85,000 to Dispatch. Last year, Superior Court Judge Stephanie Joannides ordered Miller to pay 75 percent of Alaska Dispatch's legal fees stemming from the case. Alaska Dispatch and other media went to court to gain access to employment records Miller wanted kept secret; the media prevailed, and the records showed that Miller had been disciplined while working as a part-time attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough after accessing his coworkers' computers to rig a political poll. Many Alaskans were put off by Miller's excessive use of the judicial system, and with this monkey off his back, his campaign can begin to progress. And Miller swung for the fences in response to an AP query about the Federal minimum wage; in explaining his opposition to any increase, Miller condemned both parties' unhealthy devotion to the demands of multinational corporations for cheap labor resulting in the outsourcing of millions of jobs, turning a blind eye toward illegal alien workers and subsidized foreign guest workers, all of which has depressed real wages of American labor. Neither Treadwell nor Sullivan addressed immigration or outsourcing in their responses.

There are two other Republicans in the race; John M. Jaramillo of Palmer, and Kathleen M. Tonn of Anchorage. They are not expected to have more than an anecdotal effect on the race.



  2. Rigging a political poll, eh? That sounds like typical lefty doings. So is Miller just another sociopath?