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To: Senate Majority PAC and Put Alaska First
From: Paul Harstad, Harstad Strategic Research, Inc.
Date: September 12, 2014
Re: Begich Rebounds to a 5-Point Lead, Following Sullivan’s Brief Post-
Primary ‘Bounce’

Mark Begich has already rebounded sooner than expected from what turned out to be a
fleeting bounce by Dan Sullivan following his post-primary win and honeymoon, according
to our last three surveys among Alaska voters.
As the table below shows, Begich had built up a 7% lead over Sullivan by the end of July
with a 44% vote share in a multi-candidate field. In the week following Sullivan’s August
19
th
Republican primary win, the Senate race narrowed to a deadheat with Begich’s vote
share dipping to 41%. This late-August tied race was not surprising given an expected
bounce with the favorable coverage and exposure enjoyed by Sullivan.
Our latest survey, however, shows Begich already recovering to a 5% lead over Sullivan
with Begich’s vote share now at 45% to Sullivan’s 40% and 6% of the vote for Libertarian
Mark Fish. While we were confident that Begich would incrementally regain his significant
lead, we did not expect him to rebound so promptly.

Alaska Senate
Preferences:
Sept 7-10
(n = 709)
%
August 24-27
(n = 807)
%
July 20-24
(n = 808)
%
Begich margin +5 +1 +7
Begich vote 45 41 44
Sullivan vote 40 40 37
3
rd
parties vote 7 10 10
Undecided 8 8 9


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This Begich recovery is further confirmed by the two candidates’ popularity levels over the
past two months.

Alaska Senate
Preferences:
Sept 7-10
(n = 709)
%
August 24-27
(n = 807)
%
July 20-24
(n = 808)
%
Begich differential +8 +8 +6
Favorable to Begich 50 51 49
Unfavorable to Begich 42 43 43

Sullivan differential -1 +5 +1
Favorable to Sullivan 41 42 38
Unfavorable to Sullivan 42 37 37

Begich’s popularity level has stayed consistent over the past two months and his score is
clearly ‘above water’ with a +8% favorable-vs-unfavorable differential. By contrast, after a
brief rebound in late August Sullivan’s popularity has dipped back down to even favorable
vs-unfavorable -- indeed for the first time ebbing just ‘below water’ with a -1% differential
score.
The bottom line is that while this Senate race is still undecided, Begich has emerged from
the post-primary period in surprising good shape despite all the negative ads aired
against him, and he remains in the favored position to win in November.