PPP's newest Alaska poll finds Mead Treadwell closing the gap in the Republican primary for Senate, but whether it will be enough with only two weeks remaining before the primary remains to be seen. Dan Sullivan continues to lead the GOP field with 35% to 29% for Treadwell, 20% for Joe Miller, and 2% for John Jaramillo. Sullivan's 6 point lead is down from a 14 point advantage in May. His support has dropped from 40% to 35%, while Treadwell has gone from 26% to 29%. The biggest gainer over the last quarter has actually been Joe Miller, who's climbed from 14% to 20%. The odds of a Miller upset are still pretty minuscule with him 15 points out of first place but it has to make Republicans slightly more nervous than they were when he was 26 points out.
There is a significant ideological divide in this race. Sullivan leads with 'very conservative' voters at 34% to Miller's 32% with Treadwell in a distant third at 19%. Meanwhile Treadwell is dominant with moderates, getting 48% to 26% for Sullivan and just 9% for Miller. As is always the case with Republican primary electorates though there are far more conservatives than moderates, and that may make it hard for Treadwell to snag the nomination.
When it comes to the general election, Mark Begich continues to have modest leads over all of his potential Republican opponents. In the most likely match up with Sullivan he gets 43% to Sullivan's 37% with a bevy of third party candidates combining to get 7%. When you take them out of the mix Begich's lead is 45/41. Begich has held a lead in the 4-7 point range over Sullivan in all four of PPP's polls of this race over the last year.
The numbers for Begich against Treadwell are pretty similar. He has a 42/37 lead when the entire field is included that drops to 44/41 after you prod supporters of the third party candidate about who they would vote for if they had to pick one of the major candidates. In the unlikely event Begich got to face off against Joe Miller his lead would be double digits at 45/32.
The reason Begich is in arguably the best position out of the red state Democratic quartet including him, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, and Kay Hagan up for reelection this year is that he receives a meaningful level of support across party lines from Republicans. He receives 19% of the GOP vote against both Treadwell and Miller, and gets 15% when matched with Sullivan. At the same time he loses only 3-6% of the Democratic vote to his potential GOP foes.
The picture in the Governor's race remains pretty steady- Sean Parnell is not all that popular but likely to be bailed out by being in a three way race. Voters are evenly divided on him with 42% approving and 42% disapproving, but he leads by 15 points with 37% to 22% for Democrat Byron Mallott and 20% for independent Bill Walker. The race would be considerably closer in a head to head with Walker- Parnell would lead only 41/40. But for now that's purely hypothetical.