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Polls show Sullivan with single-digit lead in GOP primary

Nathaniel Herz
Republican US Senate candidates, from left, Joe Miller, Dan Sullivan and Mead Treadwell spoke to the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, an oil, gas and mining trade group, on April 24,2014 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center. Loren Holmes photo

A pair of polls released Tuesday show Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan maintaining a single-digit lead over his closest challenger in the Aug. 19 GOP primary.

A poll released by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling showed former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sullivan leading Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell 35 percent to 29 percent, with 20 percent supporting Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller and 14 percent of the 337 Republican primary voters surveyed still undecided.

The second poll showed Sullivan leading Treadwell 35 percent to 27 percent, with Miller getting 16 percent. That poll was conducted by the Oregon-based Moore Information, which works for Sullivan’s campaign, but the poll was not commissioned by a candidate or third-party group involved in the U.S. Senate race, said Hans Kaiser, a senior vice president at the firm.

The Moore Information poll, conducted July 29 to 31, was first reported by political journalist Amanda Coyne. The PPP survey was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 3.

Public Policy Polling has been criticized in the past for suppressing certain results and using automated phone calls to collect data. And a few days before the 2010 general election, it gave Miller a 7-point lead over Lisa Murkowski, who ultimately ended up with a narrow write-in victory to keep her U.S. Senate seat.

Nonetheless, both polls show that Sullivan’s lead has narrowed since earlier this year. A May poll by PPP had Sullivan up 14 points on Treadwell, while Moore Information gave Sullivan a 9-point advantage in June.