Miller kicks off Senate campaign, primary race takes shape
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller kicked off his campaign Monday night in Wasilla, throwing his hat in the ring alongside two other Republican candidates working to unseat incumbent Sen. Mark Begich.
“This state is on the front line, this election is on the front line,” Miller told a crowd of supporters. “This is about you, and making sure we take this country back.”
If elected, Miller told supporters he would work to repeal Obamacare and help Alaska become more financially successful. People at Monday’s campaign kick-off event said they appreciated Miller’s conservative values. But recent fundraising numbers show Miller lagging behind fellow Republicans. According to official election reports, Dan Sullivan — a former state attorney general and natural resources commissioner — pulled in about $2.6 million between January and April of this year. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell brought in $300,000, which includes $175,000 of his own money, and Miller raised about $100,000.
But Anchorage pollster Ivan Moore said Miller has come from behind before — and he could do it again.
In July 2010, just a month before the Republican primary election, Moore’s poll had Miller trailing incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski by 32 percent. But Miller beat Murkowski in the primary by around 2,000 votes, and Moore said he appears to be relying on the same grassroots support during this election cycle.
But the pollster said money plays a big role when it comes to election results, and Alaska Republican Party leaders agree. Peter Goldman, chairman of the Alaska GOP, said he believes Republicans could successfully unseat Begich by focusing on issues rather than primary attacks.
“Obamacare’s going to be a big one — always going to be a big one,” Goldman said Monday. “Obamacare is the elephant on the table.”
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