Senate races

Sullivan poll puts him over Begich

Former Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (R) has a four-point lead over Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), according to his latest internal poll.

{mosads}Sullivan leads Begich by 42 to 38 percent with two third-party candidates pulling 4 percent support apiece in the live-caller poll, conducted by Moore Information and shared exclusively with The Hill.

That lead increases to 48 to 37 percent among those most certain to vote.

Those numbers dispute two recent polls that have found Begich with a lead outside the margin of error, though there’s a real chance both are outliers. Most other polling of the race has found Sullivan with a small lead, though many of those surveys are a bit older. A Democratic survey from Harstad Research released earlier this week found a dead heat with 44 percent support for each candidate.

Alaska is notoriously difficult to poll accurately, with public polling regularly missing the mark by wide margins and leading to a high level of unpredictability in races. The state’s small, diverse and scattered population is hard to accurately sample, and fresh poll sampling frames are costly to create for the state.

Moore’s pollster, Hans Kaiser, highlights early voting numbers as well. Of those who have already voted, 35 percent are Republicans, 19 percent are Democrats and 44 percent are undeclared and nonpartisan voters. Sullivan’s campaign says that indicates Democrats’ vaunted ground game in the state isn’t panning out. Those numbers are open to interpretation, however, since Begich has always needed to win large shares of undeclared voters to win in the state since Alaska has so few registered Democrats, and it’s unclear who those undeclared voters backed.

The live-caller poll of 500 likely voters using landlines and cellphones was conducted Oct. 26-28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

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