The fight is on for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat.
Former Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan filed to run with the Division of Elections in Anchorage Tuesday morning.
Sullivan isn’t the only Republican in the race, but he may be the only one who matters. Especially if you factor in how much money the candidates are spending.
The super PAC that supports incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has made it clear that Sullivan is the man to beat. The group “Put Alaska First” has already spent big money on ads attacking Sullivan with plans to spend millions more before the general election in November. Sullivan considers it a backhanded compliment.
“Well they certainly don’t want to face me in the fall,” Sullivan said. “Of all the candidates they’ve looked at they’ve decided who they don’t want to face.”
Sullivan has spent millions on ads of his own, introducing himself to voters. And it may be working. A Public Policy Polling survey that came out in mid-May puts him 14 points ahead of Mead Treadwell and even further ahead of Joe Miller. Local pollster Ivan Moore said he’s not surprised.
“If the race was decided on money, which to some extent it is, he would be the foregone conclusion,” Moore said.
But Moore thinks Sullivan will have a harder time beating Begich in the general election.
“It will be close, it’s going to be a well-contested race. Begich is no pushover, but Sullivan will have a lot of money if he’s the nominee,” Moore said.
Moore said if the election were held today, Begich would win with a five-point lead. But the election is still six months away.