Murkowski withstands another conservative GOP challenger, advances to November
Washington, D.C. (UPI) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski continues to lead Alaska’s Republican primary, winning her party’s nomination to take on Sen. Mark Begich in November’s election.
Murkowski now leads Democrat Scott McAdams, a former Anchorage mayor, 42 percent to 32 percent in the latest poll conducted Sept. 15-20. The Anchorage Times election poll surveyed 751 Alaskans between Sept. 13 and Sept. 19. It has a 4.2-point margin of error.
Murkowski’s win in Alaska puts her in a tough spot to carry on her campaign promises for the rest of the U.S. Senate. She is up for reelection in 2014 and faces a primary challenge from former state Department of Revenue Commissioner Dan Sullivan.
Murkowski is being challenged by Sullivan because she has won the Republican primary by more than two-thirds of the vote, the largest margin in the state’s history.
Sullivan led last year at 39 percent in the GOP primary with Murkowski at 30 percent, according to the Alaska Republican Party. Murkowski has led in the polls since June.
Sullivan is challenging Murkowski for her seat because she would be a better opponent for Begich in 2014.
Murkowski is one of the few Republican candidates who has a chance against Begich. The Alaska Democratic Party is supporting Sullivan, but the party is not allowed to participate in the primary.
The most populous state in the U.S. shares Alaska’s history of electing more Democrats than Republicans. Alaska has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1976. Begich is seeking a third term in an election year marked by the national spotlight on the environment, Alaska’s budget and Alaska’s congressional delegation, which has been controlled by the Democratic Party since the late 1970s.
The Alaska Republican Party is hoping Murkowski’s win in the primary will help the party’s candidate for the 2014 election, Sullivan, who is hoping to replace Begich.
Sullivan, who is the former Alaska Department of Revenue Commissioner, is the only Republican candidate in the primary. He is running against Murkowski’s opponent