ALASKA
     Nov. 4, 2014 U.S. Senate

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Sen.2
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+Dan Sullivan (R) 
135,445
47.96%
Mark Begich (D) i 129,431
45.83%
Mark S. Fish (L)
10,512
3.72%
Ted Gianoutsos (NA)
5,636
2.00%
write-ins 1,376
0.49%

282,400

Registration: 509,011.  Ballots cast: 285,449.
Plurality: 6,014 votes (2.13 percentage points)

 AK Division of Elections



REPUBLICAN PICK-UP
Notes:
This was one of six states Romney won by double digits in 2012 (54.8% to 40.8%) that was represented by a Democrat in the U.S. Senate.  In a close contest, freshman Sen. Mark Begich (D) lost to former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R).  Also running were Mark Fish (L) and Ted Gianoutsos (NA).  AP called the race for Sullivan on Nov. 12.  This was the most expensive campaign in Alaska history and the sixth most expensive Senate race of the cycle.

The Aug. 19 Republican primary was very competitive (1, 2).  Sullivan won with 44,740 votes (40.05%), defeating Joe Miller at 35,904 (32.14%), Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell at 27,807 (24.90%) and John Jaramillo 3,246 (2.91%).  Begich easily won his primary.

General election debates included:

  • Aug. 27 at University of Alaska Anchorage hosted by United for Liberty. 1,2 
  • Oct. 1 fisheries debate in Kodiak. 1 2
  • Oct. 29 at Bartlett High School in East Anchorage hosted by KTUU.
  • Oct. 30 Alaska Public Media. 1, 2
There were also a number of forums such as one on Oct. 24 at the Alaska Federation of Natives' annual convention. >

Begich did not concede until Nov. 17.

Spending in the race totaled more than $60 million.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the two campaigns spent $18.9 million and outside groups spent $42.7 million (>).  The Begich campaign spent $11.1 million to $7.8 million by the Sullivan campaign.  Pro-Sullivan outside groups spent $21.8 million, led by NRSC ($4.94 million), American Crossroads ($4.44 million), Crossroads GPS ($3.09 million), U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($1.33 million) and Freedom Partners Action Fund ($1.28 million).  Pro-Begich groups spent $20.9 million, led by Put Alaska First PAC [Senate Majority PAC] ($10.2 million), DSCC ($6.39 million), Alaska Salmon PAC ($2.01 million) and LCV ($1.95 million). 


T
he Brookings Institution reported the Alaska race was far and away the most expensive of the 2014 Senate contests in terms of spending per eligible voter (based on 503,000 eligible voters), about $120.59 per voter compared to the next closest, New Hampshire at $50 per voter (>). 


Campaign Managers:
Dan Sullivan: 
Ben Sparks
Communications director for the New Jersey Republican Party. 
Wisconsin communications director on Romney for President (2012 general election) and previously communications director at the Republican Party of Wisconsin.  Managed Margaret Ransone's successful state delegate race in Virginia.  Worked on Rob Portman's successful campaign for U.S. Senate in Ohio and earlier for the Ohio Republican Party.  Worked for two cycles at the NRSC. Graduate of St. John's College. Texas native.

Mark Begich:  Susanne Fleek-Green
(July 2013)  State director for Sen. Begich, Jan. 2009-July 2013.  Statewide coordinator on Alaskans for Begich, Apr.-Nov. 2008.  Community development specialist for the Municipality of Anchorage, 2006-08.  Climate program manager for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, May 2005-Aug. 2006.  Senio policy advisor, environment and natural resources to Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT), 2003-05.  Government relations manager at Environomental Working Group, 2000-02.  Legislative assistant to Sen. Leahy, 1996-2000.  Presidential management fellow at the U.S. Department of the Interior, 1994-96.  M.P.P. (1994) and bachelors degree (1990) from UC Berkeley.


see also:

Nathaniel Herz.  "Sullivan, Begich to meet in 7 debates/forums in U.S. Senate race."  Anchorage Daily News, Sept. 30, 2014.

Gerald McBeath.  "Alaska's Senate race has been more about the candidates than the issues."  LSE US Centre blog post, Oct. 31, 2014.

Becky Bohrer.  "Republican Dan Sullivan wins Senate race in Alaska."  Associated Press, Nov. 12, 2014.

Alex DeMarban.  "Begich concedes after hard-fought Senate battle."  Anchorage Daily News, Nov. 17, 2014.


 




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