In my last look at the race, entitled “Alaska Senate Race Rating And Analysis Bodes Bad For Begich,” which is currently rated “Leans Republican” on the 2014 Senate Map, I gave a general assessment of the race and the political landscape. And to make a long story short, despite the bias fantasies held by other so-called objective pundits, I confidently concluded that it is more likely than not that election night is going to be a miserable night for Senator Mark Begich.
At this point, the only variable keeping the Alaska Senate race from moving farther to the right on the rating spectrum is the Republican primary, which we will now examine in more detail. With Gov. Sean Parnell deciding to stay out of the race, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell made his bid known almost immediately. Treadwell has already attacked the 2010 Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller, saying “I believe I don’t scare people. Joe does sometimes.”
Treadwell, no doubt, is the establishment candidate and was their first pick, but he will have to share the GOP country club with another establishment candidate. Former Natural Resources Commissioner and Attorney General Dan Sullivan is the second-tier establishment candidate, but ironically seems to have the money advantage. Alaska’s Energy, America’s Values, which is headed up by political consultant Art Hackney and backs Dan Sullivan, already spent about $12,000 to air ads in Anchorage and Matanuska Valley.
There is a real potential for a reverse vote splitting phenomena to play out that inevitably will benefit Joe Miller. That is, typically establishment Republican candidates win primaries because the conservative vote is split between 2 or more anti-establishment candidates. In the Alaska Senate race the opposite is true, and it is conceivable to see how under the right conditions Joe Miller could upset the GOP establishment on primary night, again.
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