GOP poll: Dem trails in Alaska Senate race

Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Dem ex-lawmakers defend Schumer on Iran MORE (D-Alaska) trails former Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (R) by a six-point margin, according to a new poll conducted for the Chamber of Commerce and first shared with The Hill.

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Sullivan leads Begich by 49 percent to 43 percent in the live-caller poll, conducted by GOP firm Dittman Research, a larger lead than he's held in any other public polling of the race. The Chamber is backing Sullivan.

President Obama's numbers are abysmal in the Republican state, according to the poll. Two-thirds of voters disapprove of his job performance, 65 percent, while just 32 percent approve.

Partisan polling should always be taken with a grain of salt, and it is notoriously difficult to accurately poll in Alaska. But Dittman has a strong track record in their home state — they nailed the results of this year's Alaska GOP Senate primary and predicted Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators float bipartisan wildfire bill Overnight Energy: Lawmakers closing in on chemical safety deal GOP chair pushes Obama official on Arctic drilling plan MORE's (R-Alaska) write-in victory in 2010, though they had her winning by a more comfortable gap than her final margin of victory.

Two other recent automated polls have found Sullivan leading Begich in the race, a battleground for Senate control, though a pair of polls conducted for Democratic groups released earlier this month found Begich ahead.

Republicans believe Sullivan is consolidating GOP support following his August primary win. He and Begich have been duking it out on the airwaves for months, long before he won his primary.

The live-caller poll of 800 likely voters reached on landlines and cellphones was conducted from Sept. 14-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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