Alaska was always pegged as one of the Republican Party’s best pickup opportunities in 2014, one of seven red states that hold the key to retaking the Senate majority. But plans to take down Democratic Sen. Mark Begich have been hindered almost from the get-go, thanks to the incumbent’s political acumen and an early and fierce barrage of attacks against (Dan) Sullivan.
“(Sullivan) is damaged—there’s no two ways about it,” said Art Hackney, an Alaska-based Republican operative who runs a super PAC allied with Sullivan. “And it’s going to take some repair.”
As a result, even as the GOP grows more optimistic about a dozen other races across the midterm map, some of the party’s operatives worry that, of all places, bright-red Alaska has quietly slipped away. And it explains why some Democrats, nervously eyeing difficult contests elsewhere, now consider Alaska a likelier hold than some purple states such as Colorado or Iowa.(National Journal)
Think about that for a moment…now, I know I’m not the sharpest political tool in the proverbial toolshed, but even I know that if Republicans are talking smack about their own party’s nominee, what does that say about their prospects come November? And here’s one other point: unlike a lot of Democrats’ who seem to be running away from President Obama and/or his policies – particularly ObamaCare – Sen. Begich hasn’t done that – though not to the degree of other vulnerable Dems’ such as Mark Pryor in Arkansas. There’s also one other factor at work here: because the GOP thought that Alaska would fall into their hands – after all, it is a red state most years – they never bothered to keep any campaign pressure on Begich…which meant that once Democrats and their allies began attacking Sullivan – and this was prior to the GOP primary this past Tuesday, mind you – there were no Republican rebuttals for almost two whole months. Even in a state like Alaska, that’s serious burn they inflicted on Sen. Begich’s then-potential Republican opponent…and those wounds haven’t quite healed; now that Sullivan’s the official GOP nominee, don’t be surprised if they keep up the campaign attacks, right up to Election Day.