It doesn’t quite add up.
The latest Ivan Moore poll shows gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy with a big lead — 44.4 percent of General Election likely voters.
Mark Begich, according to Moore’s Alaska Survey Research poll, has 29 percent support, and Gov. Bill Walker squeaks out under 23 percent.
But Begich, in spite of his strong showing, is getting very little financial help from the usual contributors. He’s not raising much money from Alaskans, either.
Normally, if a candidate is seen as viable, the Democratic Governors Association will bring in the financial muscle. It takes millions to run a competitive race for governor, even if your name is Mark Begich. That money would go to the side group, Begich for Alaska.
But Begich’s financial filings with APOC are anemic, and even the independent expenditure group, Begich for Alaska, had only raised $20,000, at last required filing. Begich for Alaska, can legally raise almost unlimited cash but has very little.
They’re waiting for the national money. There’s one month to go. Where is the money?
The Democratic Governors Association had seen Alaska as one of eight possible targets.
Something happened on the way to the General Election.
Bill Walker ran away from the Democratic primary and started collecting signatures to go straight to the General Election. He could not face Mark Begich and win, just like four years earlier, when he could not face Gov. Sean Parnell and win. So he again entered as a petition candidate without an organized party backing him.
A quick review of 30 of the latest press releases from Democratic Governors Association going back two weeks finds there is no mention of Alaska in any of the communications coming from the organization that could help Begich.
No money, and not even a press release about Begich being ahead of a sitting governor?
That lack of campaign money puts Walker in strong position to move to second place.
Walker has the support of the unions and the Native corporations, typical Democrat power bases. He has made $125,000 in radio buys for ads that are running from now through Nov. 6.
Begich has raised $180,000 so far for his campaign, but as of Aug. 15th 24-hour report, Walker had raised $540,000, and has another $250,000 in an independent expenditure group working on his behalf.
Six weeks after the primary, it’s safe to say Walker is closing in on $1 million in his war chest (including the independent group).
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION SHRINKS TARGET
Earlier this year, Alaska was seen as a toss-up state by both Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report, two well-regarded prognosticators.
But two weeks ago, both polling organizations moved Alaska into the “leans R” category.
And not long after that, the Democratic Governors Association narrowed its funding focus to Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, Maine, and Connecticut.
Here’s how Cook Political Report sees the governor’s races:
Decisions from national groups who could fund the independent group Begich for Alaska have little time left to bankroll his campaign.
The 30-day reports from the campaigns will be due this week, and Gov. Walker’s campaign team is chomping at the bit, buying up air time for its “air war,” getting union boots on the ground for the “ground game,” all the while knowing that Begich is going into the last 30 days without any significant resources.
Begich may spin this as a positive, but the Dunleavy and Walker campaigns are going to get very loud starting this week, and his message may be lost in the din.
The Ivan Moore Alaska Survey Research Poll, which typically favors liberal and progressive candidates and causes, is linked here: