They bury the heck out of that lede by first throwing up a lot of ink about Sarah Palin, who I sincerely doubt will end up running for Senate next year. After doing that, PPP gives its readership the bad (to them) news:
The best Republican hope for this seat is Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and the good news for the GOP is that if Palin sits it out he, and not 2010 nominee Joe Miller, is the next choice of the party base. In a three way primary Treadwell gets 33% to 25% for Sullivan and 24% for Miller. And in a head to head with Miller, Treadwell leads 53/30. Even among Republican primary voters Miller has a dreadful 26/53 favorability rating.
Treadwell still trails Begich, but only by a 44/40 margin. That’s narrowed from 47/39 on our February poll. Treadwell has a +6 favorability rating at 35/29 and has room to grow with 36% of voters still not knowing enough about him to have formed an opinion.
Mark Begich, in other words, is below 50 in both re-elect and favorable ratings (he’s 42/41) and leads an announced (and actual likely) opponent by only four, a year before the election. And, just to add to the pain: said opponent is a sitting Lt. Governor of a Republican state. Begich got in by a hair, last time, and the particular conditions for that victory are impossible to replicate. Begich is thus in serious, serious trouble.
Hence, the aforementioned ink: PPP is desperate for Sarah Palin, or failing that Joe Miller, to run for AK-SEN. I suspect that in either case PPP is still being wildly optimistic, but if things turn out the way I suspect (caveat: I’m not always right) it won’t matter.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) July 30, 2013
PS: For the record: The Alaska Republican primary is in a year. Anybody who doesn’t start officially running for Senator soon won’t be running at all. Keep that in mind.