Republicans Likely to Win Senate Majority; Miller Slated to Win in Alaska

Liberal Senator Mark Begich is running for reelection and, according to pundits, will face Joe Miller in the general. Miller is slated to win that contest, too.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee / Getty ImagesIn Nebraska, Republican senate nominee Ben Sasse leads by 17 percent over Democrat nominee David Domina, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released yesterday. Sasse, a conservative Republican supported by all the major national TEA party and conservative organizations, won the primary in Nebaska this past Tuesday and appears to be likely to be elected the state’s junior senator in November. Rasmussen Reports have him leading 51 percent to Domina at 34 percent in that senate race.

In the meantime, the senate seat in Kentucky is now in play, as the Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Mitch McConnell only a one point lead over Democrat nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes in the race for the Kentucky senate seat. McConnell first ran in 1984 for this senate seat, and by the end of 2014 he will have served 30 years as senator. McConnell was reelected with just 53 percent of the vote in 2008, and is likely to be more vulnerable in 2014.

If McConnell loses the general election, it would help the Democrats retain a majority of the senate after the 2014 elections despite seat lost in other states. There are 36 seats up for election in 2014. Among the other 64 seats not up for election in 2014, Democrats hold 34 of them while Republicans hold 30. 25 of the seats up for election are considered likely or safe for either party, which includes 16 seats currently held by Republicans and 10 seats currently held by Democrats. With those seats added, Democrats will have 44 seats (including the two independents that caucus with the Democrats) and Republicans will have 46 seats. The remaining 10 seats will decide which party controls the senate after the 2014 elections…

Alaska: Incumbent Senator Mark Begich is running for reelection and 2010 nominee Joe Miller appears to be the likely GOP nominee. Begich should be a strong candidate but a united (rather than divided like four years ago with Lisa Murkowski running as a write-in) GOP behind the eventual Republican nominee would give him a fair shot at defeating Begich. For now, this one leans Republican.

Read more from this story HERE.

Senior Political Analyst: ‘Very Clear Path to Victory’ for Miller in Alaska

Alaska Republican Senate candidates, Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell, met this week for a debate hosted by the United for Liberty – Alaska/Conservative Patriots Group. Libertarian Mark Fish also met at the Wilda Marston Theater in Anchorage, Alaska, where roughly 200 people were in attendance. However, Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan was a no-show, leaving unanswered the recent questions raised over his position on climate change.

Following the debate, Joe Miller won the straw poll conducted by the debate sponsors, which was the second straw poll win for Miller in less than a week. In Wasilla last Saturday, during the inaugural convention of the Alaska Republican Assembly, Miller easily won the convention’s U.S. Senate straw poll with a whopping 76 percent of the vote.

The candidates traded blows on issues such as immigration, same-sex marriage and climate change. Miller has been hammering his opponents on their positions regarding climate change. The Alaska Dispatch recently ran a puff-piece story that accused Miller of “trying once again to carve out the far-right territory as a climate change denier, though without directly saying so.”

During the debate, Treadwell affirmed his belief in man-made climate change, otherwise known as global warming or whatever name they have decided to call it this week. Sullivan, who didn’t show up to clarify his position, is trying to straddle the middle ground, claiming there is no consensus on the issue. Sullivan enjoys the endorsement of The Club for Growth, a group that would no doubt oppose climate change legislation. Still, Sullivan has made repeated statements in the past that suggest a flip-flop on the issue.

Read more from this story HERE.

Miller: Republican Establishment Must Make Peace with Conservatives

Launch - Joe Walking to Front with KathleenIn a misguided article published in Politico Magazine last week, Forrest A. Nabors argued that I am poised to play the role of spoiler and deliver Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat to the Democrats this fall by running as an Independent. And predictably, the grand conspiracy is all Sarah Palin’s fault.

The suggestion that I intend to run as an Independent in the general election is no more than a rumor spread by the Weekly Standard’s report on a February Hays poll. In that poll, I was included as an Independent only because at least 10 percent of respondents said they would vote for me if their choice were between an establishment Republican and the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Mark Begich. To be perfectly clear: I have never said I am running for anything other than the Republican nomination.

While it is true that Gov. Palin played a decisive role in my stunning 2010 primary victory over the sitting vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference, her responsibility ends there. The truth is, but for the perfidy of the Republican establishment, the conservative movement in Alaska would have prevailed in 2010. And undoubtedly, the Alaska race in 2014 would be a unified Republican effort.

Sadly, Sen. Lisa Murkowski learned the wrong lessons from 2010. She was the only Senate “Republican” to vote for every piece of President Obama’s 2010 lame duck agenda. In the process, she helped the president up off the mat after a crushing defeat in the 2010 mid-term elections and handed him bipartisan legitimacy for his 2012 election. If that didn’t vindicate my 2010 primary challenge of Murkowski, and Palin’s decision to endorse my candidacy, I don’t know what would.

But that is the past. It’s time for people of good will to end the petty intramural conflicts and focus on the task at hand. Unlike many of my establishment Republican friends, I am not driven by hatred of Democrats. Nor am I motivated by the desire for power. I simply love my country and want to see it prosper.

For me, the 2014 election is about the renewal of America and Alaska’s economic future. It is a test of our resolve as a people. Will we stand up for the Constitution and our way of life? Or will we stand down as the world’s greatest civilization fades into the fog of history? I believe that our children and grandchildren deserve to face the future with the same sense of hope and optimism that we once did, and it is our responsibility to make that a reality. I believe that nothing is inevitable, that the future lies within the realm of our free will, that God still governs in the affairs of men who will exercise virtue and that, as Ronald Reagan once reminded us, “The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave.”

That’s why I’ve embraced a bold agenda: return to Constitutional government. As Republicans, we must not abandon the sanctity of human life, as some would have us do. We cannot give up on our nation’s greatest asset, the traditional family. We must defend our religious liberties at all cost, and refuse the false promise of security in exchange for our 2nd Amendment rights. It is imperative that we repeal Obamacare. Half-measures and temporary fixes will not do. There is only one way to ensure freedom, access and affordability: Get government out of the way and let the free market work.

Republicans must also contend for the rule of law, and never reward lawlessness. Amnesty is a non-starter, and our borders must be secured. It is a grave matter of national security. Further, we must abolish the IRS and reform the tax code to make it fair and simple; audit the Federal Reserve; cut, cap and balance the federal budget; and return power to the states.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, our internal polling analysis shows that we are in a strong position to win both the primary and general elections in Alaska. Even public polling has seen my candidacy surge in a head-to-head match-up against Begich by 17 points since early last year.

The resurgent reform movement in Alaska is poised to make a big comeback, and without a doubt folks are more energized than they were four years ago. The number of registered Republicans is up 4.3 percent since 2008, while the number of registered Democrats is down 10.4 percent. In that year, Begich squeezed out a narrow victory with 48 percent of the vote against the GOP incumbent, Sen. Ted Stevens, who had just been convicted of multiple felonies. (Stevens’s convictions were later vacated because of prosecutorial misconduct.) This time around, Begich’s job approval in public polling has been hovering around 40 percent for months.

This is shaping up to be another wave election. It is inconceivable that an incumbent senator with job approval numbers so low heading into the election will be able to ride this wave of public discontent to 50 percent plus one, unless establishment Republicans sabotage another election.

Wherever I go across the state, there is seldom a kind word for the Republican Party. Much like the last two presidential elections, nothing could be more catastrophic to the cause of liberty, or to a Republican majority in the Senate, than to nominate another “me too” Republican.

Both of my opponents are now calling for unity, despite the fact that they refused to back the party nominee in the state’s last Senate election. The truth is, someone who helped tear the party apart simply isn’t qualified to lead a unity movement.

It’s time for the Republican establishment to end the impurity tests. A big-tent Republican majority must include full-orbed conservatives who embrace the party platform. If the Republican Party leadership is serious about governing, it has a choice to make: join the reform movement, or embrace a permanent minority status.

With Wind At Its Back, GOP Expands 2014 Senate Map

Photo Credit: Chris Schneider/APRepublicans seem to have all the momentum lately when it comes to the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

GOP chances were already looking brighter because of the drag on Democrats from the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s low approval ratings. Then came two developments that suddenly expanded the playing field: Former GOP Sen. Scott Brown recently announced his intent to run against New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and GOP Rep. Cory Gardner jumped in against Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

That makes 12 states with competitive races, according to the Cook Political Report’s latest update.

Democratic incumbents currently hold 10 of those seats; three of them are retiring. Republicans need to win a net of just six seats to become the Senate majority.

While their chances of doing that are clearly rising, political consultant Steve McMahon of Purple Strategies cautions against underestimating the advantages of the Democratic incumbents who will be on the ballot in November.

Read more from this story HERE.

A Splash Or A Wave? A First Look At The 2014 U.S. Senate Races

Photo Credit: The Federalist

Photo Credit: The Federalist

The GOP has been struggling to recapture the Senate majority for nearly a decade. Now, the sixth year itch, a plethora of vulnerable red-state Democrats, and Obamacare’s unpopularity appear to be forming a perfect storm – if the Republicans want it.

Six years ago, the Democrats were riding high: after winning the Senate back two years prior amidst scandals and the Iraq War, they improved their gains greatly, coming within a seat of a supermajority (which then-Republican Senator Arlen Specter happily granted just a few months later). This was accomplished with a mix of reasonably close overthrows of sitting Republicans (Sununu, Stevens, Coleman, and Smith), a wider rebuke of another (Dole), and picking up three seats vacated by retiring GOPers (Warner, Domenici, and Allard). Despite holding several seats in Republican territory, the popularity of incumbents Pryor, Landrieu, Baucus, Johnson and Rockefeller assured the Democrats that the Great Blue Wave would see no consolation prizes for the Republicans.

My, how things have changed.

Red State Democrats: an endangered species?

When the GOP flubbed the 2012 races in North Dakota, Missouri, Montana and Indiana, it seemed as if strong Democratic personalities still had a shot despite the growing unpopularity of the President in the red states. So long as the GOP picked either delusional or lackluster candidates, being a Democrat in a state that would break hard for Romney wasn’t necessarily a death sentence. One could hope for an Akin to rant about magical uteri, or a Berg to win their party’s nomination and, well, apparently forget to campaign.

Read more from this story HERE.

Miller Responds to Press on Senate Filing

Fairbanks, AK – Joe Miller today responded to press inquiries about his filing to run for US Senate, the complexities of FEC law, and the status of his candidacy.

“On May 2nd, 2013, we filed paperwork with the Secretary of the Senate expressing an intent to run for US Senate in 2014,” Miller said. “The complexities of the law require filing after expenditures exceed $5,000, or when certain fund-raising or campaign activities are commenced. Support from the grassroots has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are moving forward within those guidelines organizing, fund-raising and coordinating with our volunteer base.”

Though an official announcement has not been made to date, the Citizens for Joe Miller committee has engaged in a thorough deliberative process and will notify our supporters and the press at such time as we have an official announcement to make.

Mr. Begich, It’s On! But Will Treadwell Be The Next Romney?

photo credit: usdagov

By now, you have all probably heard that Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell announced on Friday that he is launching an exploratory committee to decide whether he should run for the United States Senate seat now held by former Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. As I read the well-wishes on the Lt. Governor’s facebook page today urging him on, I was left with a couple of nagging questions. Is Treadwell the right man for the job? And more importantly, is he up to it?

To all the Republicans out there who think this is going to be easy, I have a few words of caution.

First, Mark Begich is, without doubt, the most savvy politician in the state. Second, the whole government-media-complex will work tirelessly to make sure their golden boy wins re-election. Third, he will have David Axelrod and the whole ‘Chicago Machine’ at his disposal. And last, but not least, his secret weapon: unlike most politicians, people actually like this guy.

Am I suggesting that the 2014 race for US Senate is already a done deal? Not at all. But I am saying that we shouldn’t run hastily into a marriage that isn’t a good fit, and that will not likely end with an oath.

There are no less than five other potential candidates out there who have yet to make their intentions known, and I have privileged information that suggests there may be a wild-card in the works that could take the whole political establishment by surprise.

As for the Romney analogy, there are a lot of similarities between the psychology of Alaska Republicans, and that of the RNC who wanted nothing more than to beat Barack Obama. The Alaska Republican Party has proudly displayed an ad on its webpage urging the defeat of Mark Begich in 2014 ever since he assumed the seat in the United States Senate once occupied by the late-Senator Ted Stevens.

And so, like the National Republicans, the effort is already underway in Alaska to ‘immaculate the One’ who would defeat Mark Begich. Conventional wisdom is that if we can just unite behind a candidate early in the process, there will magically be unity in Republican ranks. And we will sweep to victory . . . and live happily ever after.

Didn’t we just try this with Romney? Was it just me, or was he running for the nomination for the last four years? And am I the only one who just saw how that worked out?

But the larger view that Party luminaries and political pundits miss is that some of us actually care about policy. We don’t just want to vote against someone. We want to vote for something. We don’t want consensus; we want leadership.

Wasn’t that the lesson of the 2010 US Senate race here? Some of us aren’t content to join the coronation for a candidate that in many respects is very similar to Mark Begich. Like Ronald Reagan before us, we want bold colors, not pale pastels. Aren’t there already too many do-nothing senators in Washington who are inebriated on the wine of their own self-importance, and are happy just to be a part of the club?

Now I’m not suggesting that Mead Treadwell would be a do-nothing senator, though he did support one in 2010. He is an affable guy, a deal-maker, and has big ideas. But it is precisely the fact that he has such big ideas that I find troubling, because they are the wrong ideas.

I am speaking of Mead’s penchant for ideology. Yes, I know ‘he’s a pragmatist not an ideologue.’ However, the doctrine of man-made global warming is nothing if not an ideology. The dogged belief in the inherent benevolence of the United Nations is nothing if not an ideology. And the pragmatism of compromise itself can become the handmaiden of ideology when it becomes an end in itself.

We already have a ‘Republican’ in the United States Senate who only wishes to be named among the ‘cool kids.’ She hasn’t passed a stand-alone bill in her 10 long years in the United States Senate. What we don’t have, and what I don’t wish to have, is one who is effective at getting the wrong things done. So before I’ll be jumping on the bandwagon, I need some answers from Mr. Treadwell.

If elected to the United States Senate, will he continue to push for International Treaties that would strip us of our sovereign Right to self-governance? Will he join the push for carbon taxes, or cap and trade? What would he do right now about the impending ‘fiscal cliff?’ What is his plan to rein in federal spending? Will he vote to allow leftist judges through Senate confirmation like his friend Murkowski? Does he support the President’s ‘tax hikes for the rich?’ What about social conservative issues? The second amendment? Will he vote for amnesty for illegal aliens? Does he favor reforming the tax code? What does he intend to do about the looming insolvency of Medicare and Social Security? Does he support full repeal of Obamacare? Will he support auditing the Fed? . . .

These are the things conservatives want to know. Until we have answers, support should not be offered.

Yeah, Treadwell’s a rich moderate that can appeal to independents. Romney won those voters overwhelmingly. How’d that work out for us?

Yeah, Treadwell is the anointed candidate of the Republican establishment. So was Romney. How’d that work out for us?

Yeah, Treadwell is an experienced businessman and government manager. So was Romney. How’d that work out for us?

Yeah, Treadwell is a decent man who believes in a fair fight. So was Romney. How’d that work out for us?

The bottom line is not that Mead Treadwell is a bad man that you should not support. It is rather that he is a man we still don’t have answers from, and who still hasn’t been vetted.

He may well be the candidate that emerges who will unite the party, and defeat Mark Begich. But we don’t know that yet.

I am a firm believer in the inherent wisdom and goodness of the people to make better choices than the politicos. It is up to us, not the Washington insiders, or the Juneau elites. So let the process work itself out. Get involved. Ask the questions. And for God’s sake, don’t settle for Mitt Romney.

Matt Johnson is a freelance writer, consultant, and political activist who resides in Chugiak, AK