Game on in Alaska Senate battle
August 20th, 2014
10:16 AM ET
4 weeks ago

Game on in Alaska Senate battle

(CNN) - The stage is set in one of the most important Senate races this year's midterm elections, a contest that could decide whether the Democrats or Republicans control the chamber next year.

Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan held off two other major candidates to win Tuesday's Republican Senate primary, and will now face off in the general election against first term Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. If the GOP can flip the seat in Alaska, and five others without losing any ground, they will win control of the Senate.

Sullivan topped 2010 GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller, with Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell coming in third place. Miller, who was backed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, surged in recent weeks, but wasn't able to close the gap with Sullivan, who enjoyed a fundraising advantage over his opponents, and who had the support of many mainstream pro-Republican organizations.

Groups such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which tend to back establishment GOP candidates, supported Sullivan, as they saw him as the strongest Republican candidate to take on Begich. Sullivan also had the backing of the Club for Growth, which often endorses more conservative Republican candidates.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

Sullivan, who was also the state's director of natural resources, came under attack for his ties to Alaska, and for his record in state government. Sullivan's originally from Ohio and didn't live in Alaska for a chunk of time last decade when he worked in the George W. Bush administration and in the military.

The attacks came not only from Sullivan's Republican primary opponents, but also from pro-Democratic groups that are backing Begich. Some of those groups spent big bucks to go up with ads critical of Sullivan.

In a victory statement, Sullivan tied Begich to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"Harry Reid tried to stop us, but his millions of dollars of attack ads didn't work. Mark Begich, his loyal lieutenant, has spent the last ten months trying to avoid talking about his failed record. Now is the time to focus on the real issues that matter the most to Alaskans. I look forward to painting a clear contrast between Mark Begich’s inability to move our state forward and my vision for a brighter and better Alaska," wrote Sullivan.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly fired off a statement, saying "Sullivan is wrong for Alaska women, seniors, and middle class families."

"Sullivan is an Outsider and his campaign is bankrolled by Outside special interests that want to privatize Medicare and Social Security, eliminate a federal minimum wage, and protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas," added DSCC Deputy Executive Director Matt Canter, in a statement.

With the primary over, the amount of attention and outside money flowing into the Alaska showdown will only intensify.

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). But in the midterms, the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states like Alaska.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this story


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    The Kocks are doing the very same thing here in MI. Misleading ads stating the Democratic challenger is raising taxes on the middle class. When in fact Snyder has raised the cost of everything. It used to cost $12.50 to renew your Drivers License. That fee is now $18!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You're lucky! Here in Florida it's $48 to renew your license. Heaven forbid your wallet gets lost or stolen, and you have to get a replacement – that'll set you back $68 dollars!

    August 20, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    yolanda

    Gerrymandering has a rich history with both parties. There was even "affirmative" gerrymandering back in the 1960's to ensure that some districts had minority majorities so that they would have better representation in government. And @Ol' Yeller, you post as if you believe that you are talking to a bunch of morons and/or rubes. So, anyone who has a differing view from yours is either uneducated or stupid, eh? I bow to you, master.
    ----------
    It's not just Ol' Yeller... all of the lefties here think they're oh-so superior intellects. Admission of error is just not in their being.

    August 20, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. simple logic

    I admit there is plenty of errors, all yours. You do realize at one point the massive inequality will negatively affect you to, your loved ones, the biggest mistake I think you guys have is actually thinking your part of what the Republicans are fighting for . IMHO, just kidding on the first part, better make that clear before I'm thrown into "the gang", heavens forbid.

    August 20, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Careful what you wish for. Your presumptive nominee may not even throw her hat in with a GOP controlled house and senate. With respect to Alaska, Real Clear Politics has a 52-48 GOP Senate WITHOUT Alaska. We shall see."

    The GOP/Teatrolls glee if they take the Senate this year will be short-lived. It's a 6 year term and a 3 part cycle. The way it has worked due to the Dems taking a large majority in 2006, plus retirements, deaths, etc., is that the GOP/Teatrolls have had a severe advantage in terms of the number of seats they were defending versus the number of seats the Dems were defending in the past 2 elections. In 2016, it's massively reversed, with a huge advantage to the Dems in terms of defense. A whole lot of GOP/Teatroll Senators are going to be on the chopping block that year and Clinton running will only help their Dems challengers. As for the House, meh, we may have to wait for the next census and redistricting wave to fix the mess the GOP/Teatrolls made with their gerrymandering (and yes, both sides do it, but there have been numerous problems with the GOP/Teatrolls' racist redistricting intent and even FL having to re-do it all because it was ruled unconstitutionally favorable to the GOP). Even then the gerrymandering is a short-term fix for the GOP/Teatrolls...the electoral changes brought about by ongoing demographic shifts can only be staved off for so long with gamesmanship. Eventually, the GOP/Teatrolls simply have to admit they need to adapt or die as a national party.

    August 20, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    On that note Mallory I'll sit down and shut up!!!

    August 20, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Careful what you wish for. Your presumptive nominee may not even throw her hat in with a GOP controlled house and senate. With respect to Alaska, Real Clear Politics has a 52-48 GOP Senate WITHOUT Alaska. We shall see."

    The GOP/Teatrolls' glee if they take the Senate this year will be short-lived. It's a 6 year term and a 3 part cycle. The way it has worked due to the Dems taking a large majority in 2006, plus retirements, deaths, etc., is that the GOP/Teatrolls have had a severe advantage in terms of the number of seats they were defending versus the number of seats the Dems were defending in the past 2 elections. In 2016, it's massively reversed, with a huge advantage to the Dems in terms of defense. A whole lot of GOP/Teatroll Senators are going to be on the chopping block that year and Clinton running will only help their Dems challengers. As for the House, meh, we may have to wait for the next census and redistricting wave to fix the mess the GOP/Teatrolls made with their gerrymandering (and yes, both sides do it, but there have been numerous problems with the GOP/Teatrolls' racist redistricting intent and even FL having to re-do it all because it was ruled unconstitutionally favorable to the GOP). Even then the gerrymandering is a short-term fix for the GOP/Teatrolls...the electoral changes brought about by ongoing demographic shifts can only be staved off for so long with gamesmanship. Eventually, the GOP/Teatrolls simply have to admit they need to adapt or die as a national party.

    August 20, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. rs

    Sick of hearing the Gerrymandering excuse from the lefties. Fact of the matter is that blue states have far many more districts than red states, especially true in and around very large population centers. Dems tend to win these districts and win them BIG. Comparing total dem votes versus total repub votes nationwide for districted contests is absolutely meaningless.

    Also, congressional districts are redrawn after census years – the last of which was 2010. The "shellacking" by the GOP was BEFORE redistricting, and yet the GOP won 67 seats. So YEAH... the American people GAVE the house to the GOP.
    ________________________
    Of course you don't like hearing reality. You're right though on the Census driven changes- but don't forget the House Goppers ran "with a laser-like focus on jobs, jobs, jobs". Bills they never followed through on, so, yeah, you are right it wasn't gerrymandering it was just outright lies. You still don't account for how more votes were actually cast for Democratic candidates, or why the GOP is so bent on taking away the voting rights of women and minorities.

    August 20, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Pimpylapoo

    Why do you dems try to loot the rich the middle class and the nation ? Thats why all the jobs are gone and nobody cares about you but you

    August 20, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "You fail to acknowledge that the GOP was given control of the house in 2010 and that was reaffirmed by being given control again in 2012. Americans tend to prefer a balance of power... whenever there has been 1-party control over the executive and legislative, the results have been less than stellar."

    "It's not just Ol' Yeller... all of the lefties here think they're oh-so superior intellects. Admission of error is just not in their being."
    --------------------------------
    Unbelievable. "One party control over the executive and legislative gives less that stellar results." Can I quote you that? Because you used to spend most of your time for one party, Republicans, to take complete control.

    As far as admitting errors go, you seem to prefer calling people liars before they can correct themselves.

    August 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Guest

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    On that note Mallory I'll sit down and shut up!!!
    -–

    Smartest thing you've done in a long time. You should try it more often!

    August 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. just asking

    Fair is Fair
    It's not just Ol' Yeller... all of the lefties here think they're oh-so superior intellects. Admission of error is just not in their being.
    --–

    why would lefties admit errors or failure when they find it far easier to lie and blame others?

    August 20, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. warren

    If that happens, then back to 2008 we go...

    August 20, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. warren

    Pimpylapoo
    Why do you dems try to loot the rich the middle class and the nation ? Thats why all the jobs are gone and nobody cares about you but you

    I think you may have that a bit backwards. It's the Reps that loot the POOR and Middle Class. And that's why all the jobs are gone.

    August 20, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. g

    vote republican, a military state will not be that bad and any body making 30,000 or less a year can be housed in new quarters set up by corporate America where 10hrs work will get you burgers and fries and a drink.

    August 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Say WHAT???

    warren
    I think you may have that a bit backwards. It's the Reps that loot the POOR and Middle Class. And that's why all the jobs are gone.
    -–

    Just how do rich people loot the poor??? Answer: They don't. The poor have nothing to loot and would actually starve to death out in the street if it wasn't for all of the taxes the rich people pay. So how about a little appreciation for the rich and all of their tax money?

    August 20, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Guest says:
    August 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..
    On that note Mallory I’ll sit down and shut up!!!
    —–

    Smartest thing you’ve done in a long time. You should try it more often!

    Thanks. On that note I'll keep talking!!!

    August 20, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. it must be said

    warren
    If that happens, then back to 2008 we go...
    --

    We still have record unemployment, 6 years later. We never left 2008 thanks to Obama and his insane policies. Welcome to the Lost Obama Decade.

    August 20, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Guest

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Guest says:
    August 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..
    On that note Mallory I’ll sit down and shut up!!!
    —–

    Smartest thing you’ve done in a long time. You should try it more often!

    Thanks. On that note I'll keep talking!!!

    Can't fix stupid!!

    August 20, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    just asking

    Fair is Fair
    It's not just Ol' Yeller... all of the lefties here think they're oh-so superior intellects. Admission of error is just not in their being.
    ––

    why would lefties admit errors or failure when they find it far easier to lie and blame others?
    =============================================================
    Look at that. Speak of the Devil. Instead of acknowledging errors for what they are, you prefer to call people liars.

    August 20, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Guest says:
    August 20, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..

    Guest says:
    August 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..
    On that note Mallory I’ll sit down and shut up!!!
    —–

    Smartest thing you’ve done in a long time. You should try it more often!

    Thanks. On that note I’ll keep talking!!!

    Can’t fix stupid!!

    Aww I have a fan/stalker..... Would you like an autograph??😉

    August 20, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Guest

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    On that note Mallory I'll sit down and shut up!!!
    -–

    Smartest thing you've done in a long time. You should try it more often!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why do republicans HATE it so much when Dems exercise their first amendment rights? Why, oh why do they hate free speech so much?

    August 20, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. excuse my rant

    simple logic
    Could someone, anyone, please tell me why a working person would vote for a party that simply wants them to sacrifice for the wealthiest of us, who are incredibly well off. They have not done anything I have seen to help the ones the keep telling to vote for them, in order to make their lives better. This is incredible that they manage to stay in power, amazing, truly is.
    ____________________________
    I believe it is largely from a strong connection (or even addiction) to an ideology, with a subconscious (and potentially delusional) hope that they will one day strike it big themselves. That last part is supported by the plethora of pull tabs you can see people go through at an American Legion or other bar.

    August 20, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Guest

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Guest says:
    August 20, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..

    Guest says:
    August 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..
    On that note Mallory I’ll sit down and shut up!!!
    —–

    Smartest thing you’ve done in a long time. You should try it more often!

    Thanks. On that note I’ll keep talking!!!

    Can’t fix stupid!!

    Aww I have a fan/stalker..... Would you like an autograph??😉

    You can write???!!!!

    August 20, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. rick

    Only thing that I seen on this blog. Is how much money was thrown around to ?control? Some office or party. Not a single word about any jobs reform.. Nothing about economy.. Just essentialy how much it cost to buy a way into a position.. Thats what I see here.. Nothing else..

    August 20, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. just asking

    Rudy NYC
    just asking
    Fair is Fair
    It's not just Ol' Yeller... all of the lefties here think they're oh-so superior intellects. Admission of error is just not in their being.
    ––
    why would lefties admit errors or failure when they find it far easier to lie and blame others?
    =============================================================
    Look at that. Speak of the Devil. Instead of acknowledging errors for what they are, you prefer to call people liars.
    --

    that is just precious coming from you after thousands of posts calling george bush a liar.

    August 20, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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