Raleigh, N.C.— Despite her unpopularity at large, Alaska Republicans want Sarah Palin to be their U.S. Senate nominee next year. If they get their wish, Mark Begich should escape his meager approval ratings and cruise to re-election in a deep red state. And the GOP will have choked in yet another prime pickup opportunity three cycles in a row.
In the primary, Palin tops establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, 36-26, with Dan Sullivan back at 15% and 2010 nominee Joe Miller at 12%. If Palin opts out of a bid, Treadwell would be in better shape, with 33% to Sullivan’s 25% and Miller’s 24%. Head-to-head with Miller, who is disliked 2:1 even by GOP primary voters, Treadwell would romp, 53-30.