United States Senate election in Alaska, 2014

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United States Senate election in Alaska, 2014

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  Senator Dan Sullivan official.jpg Mark Begich, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Nominee Dan Sullivan Mark Begich
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 135,445 129,431
Percentage 48.0% 45.8%

Alaska Senate election 2014.svg
Results by State House District

U.S. Senator before election

Mark Begich
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Dan Sullivan
Republican

The 2014 United States Senate election in Alaska took place on November 4, 2014, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Alaska, concurrently with the election of the Governor of Alaska, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Begich ran for re-election to a second term in office. Primary elections were held on August 19, 2014. Begich was renominated and the Republicans picked former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan.[1]

On November 7, Sullivan held an 8,000-vote lead,[2] which on November 11 had shrunk slightly to 7,991 votes.[3] Multiple media outlets called the race for Sullivan on November 12[4][5] and Begich conceded to Sullivan on November 17.[6][7] His loss–coupled with Republican Sean Parnell's defeat in the gubernatorial election–marked just the fifth time in the last 50 years in which U.S. Senate and gubernatorial incumbents from different political parties have been defeated in the same state.[8]

Background[edit]

Democrat Mark Begich won the 2008 election, defeating six-term Republican incumbent Ted Stevens by just under 4,000 votes. A few days before the election, Stevens had been convicted of a felony, however the case against Stevens was later dismissed by the Justice Department after the election when serious issues of prosecutorial misconduct emerged. In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney easily won Alaska by 13 points, which made Begich a prime target during an election cycle in which Republicans needed a net gain of six seats to retake control of the Senate.

Democratic-Libertarian-Independence primary[edit]

Candidates from the Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party and Alaskan Independence Party appear on the same ballot, with the highest-placed candidate from each party receiving that party's nomination.

Democratic candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Alaskan Independence candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Libertarian candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Declined[edit]

  • Joe Miller, former magistrate judge, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014[15][16]

Results[edit]

Democratic-Libertarian-Independence primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark Begich 58,092 83.31%
Libertarian Thom Walker 3,167 4.54%
Alaskan Independence Vic Kohring 2,557 3.67%
Democratic William Bryk 2,024 2.90%
Alaskan Independence Zachary Kile 1,869 2.68%
Libertarian Mark Fish 1,290 1.85%
Libertarian Scott Kohlhaas 734 1.05%
Total votes 69,733 100.00%

Subsequent events[edit]

In an upset, the unknown Thom Walker won the Libertarian nomination despite not campaigning and raising no money. Libertarians speculated that he was a Republican "plant" designed to keep a more viable Libertarian from winning the nomination and then taking votes away from the Republican nominee in the general election. They further speculated that Walker was chosen because he shared a surname with Bill Walker (no relation), who was running as an Independent candidate in the 2014 gubernatorial election, and that voters may have been confused because Bill Walker did not appear on the primary ballot and thus they may have voted for Thom Walker in error. This confusion could have extended to the general election, with voters picking Thom Walker for the Senate, thinking he was Bill Walker.[18]

Walker withdrew from the race on August 27, saying that "my work location and schedule will have me out of town, out of contact and off the campaign trail for too long." The Libertarian executive board replaced him as the nominee with Mark Fish.[19]

Alaskan Independence nominee Vic Kohring, who had changed his voter registration from Republican to Alaskan Independence just before the filing deadline, withdrew from the race on September 2 and endorsed Dan Sullivan. The Alaskan Independence Party did not name a replacement nominee before the deadline for them to do so had passed.[20]

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Bumper sticker from Sullivan's campaign

Withdrew[edit]

  • Kathleen Tonn, pro-life activist[25][26]

Declined[edit]

Former[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Joe Miller
Organizations
Dan Sullivan
Individuals
Organizations
Mead Treadwell
Individuals
Declined to endorse

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
Jaramillo
Loren
Leman
Joe
Miller
Sarah
Palin
Sean
Parnell
Dan A.
Sullivan
Dan S.
Sullivan
Kathleen
Tonn
Mead
Treadwell
Other/
Undecided
Moore Information* August 4–5, 2014 500 ± ? 17% 42% 25% 16%
Public Policy Polling July 31–August 3, 2014 337 ± 5.3% 2% 20% 35% 29% 14%
Moore Information* July 29–31, 2014 375 ± 5.5% 16% 35% 27% 22%
Hellenthal & Assoc. June 17–28, 2014 ? ± ? 21.4% 34.8% 30.5% 13.3%
Moore Information* June 16–18, 2014 500 ± ? 13% 36% 27% 24%
Vox Populi Polling June 5–9, 2014 619 ± ? 15% 32% 23% 31%
Dittman Research^ May 27–29, 2014 500 ± 4.4% 12% 37% 35% 16%
Public Policy Polling May 8–11, 2014 313 ± 5.5% 3% 14% 40% 26% 17%
Moore Information* April 27–28, 2014 ? ± ? 12% 38% 22% 29%
Public Policy Polling Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2014 442 ± 4.7% 2% 20% 30% 4% 25% 19%
Ivan Moore December 15–22, 2013 335 ± ? 19.4% 28.5% 34.1% 18%
Public Policy Polling July 25–28, 2013 507 ± 4.4% 12% 36% 15% 26% 11%
24% 25% 33% 19%
30% 53% 18%
Harper Polling May 6–7, 2013 379 ± 5.03% 14% 32% 30% 24%
19% 52% 29%
Public Policy Polling February 4–5, 2013 537 ± 4.2% 16% 17% 24% 19% 14% 11%
20% 19% 29% 23% 9%
Harper Polling January 29–30, 2013 1,157 ± 2.88% 12.32% 26.65% 31.52% 14.33% 15.19%
  • * Internal poll for the Dan S. Sullivan campaign
  • ^ Internal poll for the Dan A. Sullivan campaign for Lieutenant Governor

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Sullivan 44,740 40.05%
Republican Joe Miller 35,904 32.14%
Republican Mead Treadwell 27,807 24.90%
Republican John Jaramillo 3,246 2.91%
Total votes 111,697 100.00%

Independents[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

  • Ted Gianoutsos, founder of the Veterans Party of Alaska and perennial candidate[45]
  • Sid Hill, political gadfly[45][46]

Declined[edit]

General election[edit]

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate Raised Spent Cash on Hand Debt
Mark Begich (D) $7,918,887 $8,487,590 $721,505 0
Dan Sullivan (R) $6,093,368 $7,579,632 $449,506 $43,000

Debates[edit]

Begich and Sullivan participated in a televised debate regarding fisheries on August 27, 2014 at the University of Alaska Anchorage.[48] Another televised debate concerning natural resources was held on October 1 in Kodiak, Alaska.[49]

Predictions[edit]

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[50] Tossup November 3, 2014
Sabato's Crystal Ball[51] Lean R November 3, 2014
Rothenberg Political Report[52] Tilt R November 3, 2014
Real Clear Politics[53] Tossup November 3, 2014

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Mark
Begich (D)
Dan
Sullivan (R)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling November 1–2, 2014 1,052 ± 3% 45% 46% 4%[54] 5%
46% 47% 7%
Rasmussen Reports October 27–30, 2014 887 ± 4% 42% 47% 11%
Ivan Moore October 24–26, 2014 544 ± ?% 48% 42% 7% 4%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov October 16–23, 2014 561 ± 9% 44% 48% 0% 9%
Harstad Strategic Research October 18–22, 2014 700 ± ? 44% 44% 4% 7%
Hellenthal & Associates October 15–21, 2014 403 ± 4.88% 48.6% 39.2% 6.5%[55] 5.7%
Rasmussen Reports October 8–12, 2014 700 ± 4% 45% 48% 3% 3%
Fox News October 4–7, 2014 706 ± 3.5% 40% 44% 6%[56] 10%
CNN/ORC October 1–6, 2014 704 LV ± 3.5% 44% 50% 5%
875 RV ± 3.4% 44% 48% 8%
Hickman Analytics September 26–October 2, 2014 400 ± 4.9% 41% 46% 4%[57] 9%
CBS News/New York Times September 20–October 1, 2014 593 ± 5% 42% 48% 2% 8%
Rassmussen Reports September 23–24, 2014 750 ± 4% 43% 48% 5% 4%
Marc Hellenthal September 12–24, 2014 400 ± ? 41.6% 46.1% 6.9%[58] 5.4%
Public Policy Polling September 18–21, 2014 880 ± 3.3% 41% 43% 5%[59] 11%
42% 45% 13%
Dittman September 14–17, 2014 800 ± 3.5% 43% 49% 8%
Hays Research/AFL-CIO September 13–14, 2014 500 ± 4.38% 40.6% 36.4% 23%
Harstad Strategic Research September 7–10, 2014 709 ± 4% 45% 40% 7% 8%
CBS News/New York Times August 18–September 2, 2014 412 ± 6% 38% 43% 6% 12%
Harstad Strategic Research August 24–27, 2014 807 ± 4% 41% 40% 10% 8%
ccAdvertising August 21–24, 2014 4,403 ± ? 31% 42% 27%
Rasmussen Reports August 20–21, 2014 750 ± 4% 45% 47% 3% 4%
Public Policy Polling July 31–August 1, 2014 673 ± 3.8% 43% 37% 7%[60] 12%
45% 41% 14%
Harstad Strategic Research July 20–24, 2014 808 ± 4% 44% 37% 10% 9%
CBS News/New York Times July 5–24, 2014 452 ± 5.2% 46% 35% 9% 10%
Basswood Research June 29–30, 2014 500 ± 4.4% 40% 45.4% 14.6%
Moore Information* June 16–18, 2014 500 ± 4% 43% 43% 14%
Public Policy Polling May 8–11, 2014 582 ± 4.1% 42% 37% 7%[61] 14%
Moore Information* April 27–28, 2014 500 ± 4% 44% 42% 14%
Magellan Strategies April 14, 2014 603 ± 3.99% 41% 46% 7% 6%
Rasmussen Reports March 19–20, 2014 750 ± 4% 44% 44% 3% 9%
Public Policy Polling January 30–February 1, 2014 850 ± 3.4% 41% 37% 9%[62] 13%
Harper Polling January 20–22, 2014 677 ± 3.76% 41% 47% 12%
Harper Polling September 24–25, 2013 731 ± 3.62% 43% 41% 16%
Public Policy Polling July 25–28, 2013 890 ± 3.3% 46% 39% 15%
  • * Internal poll for the Dan Sullivan campaign

Results[edit]

United States Senate election in Alaska, 2014[67]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Dan Sullivan 135,445 47.96% +1.46%
Democratic Mark Begich (inc.) 129,431 45.83% -1.94%
Libertarian Mark Fish 10,512 3.72% +1.94%
Independent Ted Gianoutsos 5,636 2.00% +1.56%
Write-ins Others 1,376 0.49% +0.15%
Plurality 6,014 2.13%
Turnout 282,400 55.48%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ State of Alaska Division of Elections. "2014 Election Dates and Hours". State of Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "After noisy U.S. Senate campaign, both candidates go quiet with votes still uncounted". Alaska Dispatch News. November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Highs, lows for campaigns as votes are tallied in Alaska election". Alaska Dispatch News. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Republican Dan Sullivan Beats Sen. Mark Begich to Win Alaska Race". NBC News. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Another Senate Loss for Democrats". The Atlantic. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Republicans Take the Senate – Debates Continue on Health Care and Immigration Reform – The Bi-College News". 
  7. ^ Joseph, Cameron. Begich concedes Alaska Senate race, The Hill, November 17, 2014.
  8. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (November 19, 2014). "Mark Begich and Sean Parnell Join Small Group in Defeat". Smart Politics. 
  9. ^ a b "Stevens files candidacy for 2014 election". ADN.com. April 8, 2009. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ Zaz Hollander (November 21, 2013). "Brooklyn lawyer takes on Begich - without leaving home". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Scott Rhode (June 3, 2014). "Ten Observations About 2014 Candidates". KENI. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Amanda Coyne (May 14, 2014). "Alaska Libertarian Mark Fish runs for U.S. Senate seat". Amanda Coyne. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Senate — Scott Kohlhaas". NewsMiner.com. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ Alexandra Gutierrez (August 22, 2014). "Walker wins primary … for Libertarian Senate nomination". KTOO. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  15. ^ Joseph, Cameron (June 26, 2014). "Sen. Begich faces tough reelection challenge in GOP-friendly Alaska". Roll Call. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Joseph, Cameron (August 15, 2014). "Joe Miller says he'll back GOP nominee against Begich in Alaska". The Hill. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "2014 Primary Elections August 19, 2014 Official Results". State of Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Walker -- no, the other Walker -- wins Libertarian US Senate nomination". Alaska Dispatch New. August 22, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Alaska Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate withdraws". Alaska Dispatch New. August 27, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Independence party candidate exits US Senate race". NewsMiner.com. September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ Anderson, Ben (May 28, 2013). "Joe Miller takes another step toward 2014 US Senate run". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ Burns, Alexander (May 28, 2013). "Joe Miller files papers for Senate". Politico. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  23. ^ Hohmann, James (September 12, 2013). "Alaska Senate race 2014: Dan Sullivan to run". Politico. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  24. ^ Trygstad, Kyle (June 18, 2013). "Republican Announces Begich Challenge". Roll Call. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Begala scheduled to headline fundraiser for Democrat Begich in Alaska". Newsminer. July 16, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ Bailey, Chris (February 1, 2014). "Tonn Out of Senate Primary Race". Alaska Commons. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  27. ^ Mauer, Rich (February 23, 2013). "Miller Mulls a Begich Challenge". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  28. ^ Trygstad, Kyle (November 13, 2012). "Alaska: Republicans Lining Up to Take on Mark Begich". Roll Call. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  29. ^ Hopkins, Kyle (June 5, 2013). "McGuire files to run for lieutenant governor". Anchorage Daily News. Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  30. ^ "McGuire withdraws from lieutenant governor race just before filing deadline". Anchorage Daily News. June 2, 2014. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  31. ^ Sarah Palin Ups Her 2014 Game, Endorses In Competitive GOP Senate Primary
  32. ^ Forgey, Pat (May 4, 2013). "Neither Democrats nor Republicans shocked Parnell is running again". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  33. ^ Gonzales, Nathan L. (May 23, 2013). "Anchorage Mayor Not Running in Alaska Senate Race". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  34. ^ Yardley, William; Robbins, Liz (August 10, 2010). "Former Senator Ted Stevens Killed in Plane Crash". The New York Times. 
  35. ^ "Combat Veterans for Congress PAC Endorses Joe Miller for U.S. Senate". Joe Miller for Senate. December 23, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  36. ^ "GOA Political Victory Fund Endorses Miller for Senate". Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Sarah Palin endorses Joe Miller, again". August 15, 2014. 
  38. ^ US Senate hopeful Sullivan out with new ad, casts self as fighter Alaska needs, therepublic.com; accessed November 6, 2014.
  39. ^ Caitlin Huey-Burns (March 12, 2014). "Club for Growth Backs Sullivan in Alaska Race". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  40. ^ Buxton, Matt (September 13, 2013). "Treadwell campaigns in Fairbanks for U.S. Senate seat". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  41. ^ Erick Erickson (June 18, 2014). "Mead Treadwell for Alaska". RedState. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  42. ^ Treadwell, Mead (September 13, 2013). "I am honored and humbled to have the support of Mark Hamilton". Twitter. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  43. ^ Trygstad, Kyle (February 20, 2014). "Olympic Snowboarder Makes Senate Endorsement". Roll Call. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  44. ^ Hohmann, James (November 21, 2013). "Parnell staying out of Alaska Sen. race". Politico. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  45. ^ a b "November 4, 2014 General Election Candidate List". Alaska Secretary of State. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  46. ^ Andrew Wellner (June 6, 2014). "Crowded field files for state elections". Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  47. ^ Forrest A. Nabors (April 22, 2014). "She Can See This Disaster From Her House". Politico. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  48. ^ Herz, Nathaniel (October 1, 2014). "Tough topic, tough audience for Sullivan in debate with Begich on fisheries issues in Kodiak". Alaska Dispatch News. 
  49. ^ Herz, Nathaniel (October 23, 2014). "Begich, Sullivan spar over natural resources in US Senate debate". Alaska Dispatch News. 
  50. ^ "2014 Senate Race Ratings for November 3, 2014". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  51. ^ "The Crystal Ball's Final 2014 Picks". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  52. ^ "2014 Senate Ratings". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  53. ^ "2014 Elections Map - Battle for the Senate 2014". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  54. ^ Mark Fish (L) 2%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 2%
  55. ^ Mark Fish (L) 2.8%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 3.7%
  56. ^ Mark Fish (L) 3%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 1%, Other 2%
  57. ^ Mark Fish (L) 4%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 1%
  58. ^ Mark Fish (L)
  59. ^ Mark Fish (L) 3%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 2%
  60. ^ Mark Fish (L) 4%, Vic Kohring (AI) 3%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 0%, Sidney Hill (I) 0%
  61. ^ Zachary Kile 5%, Ted Gianoutsos 1%, Sidney Hill 1%
  62. ^ Zachary Kile 6%, Ted Gianoutsos 1%, Sidney Hill 2%
  63. ^ Mark Fish (L) 6%, Vic Kohring (AI) 4%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 1%, Sidney Hill (I) 1%
  64. ^ Ted Gianoutsos 0%, Sidney Hill 2%
  65. ^ a b Ted Gianoutsos 1%, Sidney Hill 2%
  66. ^ Mark Fish (L) 5%, Vic Kohring (AI) 3%, Ted Gianoutsos (I) 0%, Sidney Hill (I) 0%
  67. ^ "2014 General Election November 4, 2014 Official Results". elections.alaska.gov. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Campaign websites