The Alaska Republican primary ballot next year will be a tale of two Dan Sullivans. Former state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, a first-time candidate, announced a challenge last month to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, the better-known of the two, is running for lieutenant governor. The presence of more than one Dan Sullivan is causing some confusion in polling on the two races, but it may not necessarily have negative repercussions for either candidate in the Aug. 26 primaries. While there will undoubtedly be plenty of advertising in this inexpensive state over the next nine months, any lingering confusion could conceivably provide the Senate candidate a few extra points of support. “From a strategy point of view, I think it’s to both parties’ interests — because both parties benefit from the other party’s advertising — to not dispel it until the primary is over,” said Marc Hellenthal, a veteran Republican pollster in the state whose client is the Anchorage mayor.
Sullivan is fighting for the Republican Senate nomination against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller. Mayor Sullivan is one of a couple of Republicans running to replace Treadwell.
To differentiate the two in surveys, Hellenthal said pollsters have to be careful about the wording of questions to avoiding affecting the results.
A Senate race poll conducted in July by North Carolina-based Democratic firm Public Policy Polling referred to Sullivan as “Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan.” It listed Treadwell as simply “Mead Treadwell,” without signifying that he was lieutenant governor.
Full Article: In Alaska, Dan Sullivan Helps Dan Sullivan | At the Races.