Saturday, May 31, 2014

Alaska U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller Gains Momentum, Wins Straw Polls At Two Successive Campaign Events

Concerns about previous high negative ratings for U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller may be abating. At two recent campaign events, Joe Miller won two polls taken either during or after the event. This makes Miller a fully viable candidate that, if former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan and current Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell split the "RINO" vote, could propel him to victory in the Alaska Primary Election on August 19th, 2014. People's Pundit Daily opines that there's possibility that a “reverse vote-splitting phenomena” could sink Sullivan and Treadwell, leaving an energized grassroots support base strong enough to earn Miller the win.

The first event was the Alaska Republican Assembly (ARA) convention held in Wasilla on May 24th. In addition to Miller, featured speakers included Rev. Rafael Cruz (father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz), Sharron Angle (current president of NFRA), Willes Lee (NW Vice President of the National Federal of Republican Assemblies) and Sheriff and author Richard Mack. Miller called upon delegates to resist the temptation to water down the traditional Party platform, especially with regards to traditional cultural values. And his message rang true as the straw poll taken during the event showed Miller to be an overwhelming choice over Mead Treadwell for the Senate; even left-of-center blogger Amanda Coyne grudgingly admitted that Miller got the most shoutouts. Other candidates winning straw polls for their respective seats included Sean Parnell for Governor, Ted Cruz by a lesser margin over Rand Paul for President, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan for Lt. Gov., and John Cox over Congressman Don Young for U.S. House. Despite the straw poll results, the ARA will wait until later to award its endorsements.

Skeptics undoubtedly will claim that the deck was stacked and that Joe Miller was playing before a home crowd in Wasilla. But less than a week later, at the at the Wilda Marston Theatre in Anchorage on May 28th, Miller flexed his political muscle before a less partisan crowd. The event was an actual debate organized by the Conservative Patriots Group and United for Liberty; participating was Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Mark Fish. Neither "DNR" Dan Sullivan nor Democratic incumbent Mark Begich attended, although Sullivan had a conflict and Begich wasn't given enough lead time. The candidates took questions from the audience and quizzed one another. Although Treadwell appeared to have the most campaign volunteers at this event, Miller stole the show as the campaign reports he won the exit poll of the 200 people in attendance. Again, left-of-center blogger Amanda Coyne grudgingly conceded that Miller won most of the applause lines for the night, but a number of people gave props to Treadwell for a credible performance. Coyne revealed the specific numbers for the straw poll; Joe Miller 221, Mead Treadwell 207, and Mark Fish 115.

The three big issues surfaced by the audience during the debate were the Law Of The Sea Treaty (LOST), requiring voters to show ID at the polls, and amnesty for illegal aliens. Here were the candidates' responses to each:

(1). Mead Treadwell: Supports LOST, but wants some changes; opposes requiring voter ID; supports conditional amnesty for illegal aliens. There may be justification for restoring the old "bracero program" for foreign agricultural workers, but to grant amnesty to illegal aliens would be rewarding unlawful behavior.

(2). Joe Miller and Mark Fish: Oppose LOST, support voter ID, oppose any amnesty for illegal aliens. The similarities between Miller and Fish are understandable since Fish worked as a volunteer for the Miller campaign in 2010; Fish decided to run as a Libertarian this time because he's less socially conservative than Miller, and also so Libertarians can have a viable candidate to vote for in an open primary. But Fish may be about to get serious intraparty competition in the person of Scott Kohlhaas.

The candidates also discussed climate change, with Treadwell reaffirming his belief that human activities contribute to it. Miller rejects this notion.

For those who are interested, the Conservative Patriots Group recorded a video of the entire Anchorage debate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcAR5av4ErM



Mead Treadwell's Reaction: One of the reasons Treadwell got respect from the crowd was because he spent very little time criticizing Miller and much more time taking Dan Sullivan and Mark Begich, the two candidates who appear to have collected the most money from Outside special interests, to task for not being present. When Joe Miller asked Treadwell to justify past support, financially and otherwise, of left-leaning Republicans and liberal Democrats like Lisa Murkowski, Matt Claman and Sheila Selkregg over conservative challengers, Treadwell claimed personal friendship was the reason he chose to support candidates who work against his stated values. But Miller believes that principle must trump party and even friendship, otherwise the pressures in Washington could turn campaign rhetoric into false promises. Therein lies the downside of a Dan Sullivan victory; while Sullivan is an honorable man, what will happen when the Beltway Boys hand him the bill for all that Outside money they've dumped into his campaign?

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