08/19/2014 06:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOLLSTER: Will The Polls Get It Right In Alaska?


Alaska holds this year's last competitive GOP primary. Will the polls accurately forecast the winner? And USA Today teams with Suffolk University to conduct statewide polls in 2014. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

ALASKA AND WYOMING GO TO THE POLLS - Samantha Lachman: "As the midterm elections primary season winds down, the focus turns to Alaska, where voters on Tuesday will decide the last competitive Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Former Alaska Attorney General and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan is the frontrunner to challenge Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) in November -- though Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and tea party favorite and attorney Joe Miller haven't eased Sullivan's path. (Sullivan the Senate candidate is not to be confused with Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who will be on Tuesday's primary ballot for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination.)....Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), seeking a fourth term, also seems to be secure: When former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz withdrew her bid in January, Enzi was left with a substantial war chest and four lesser-known rivals." [HuffPost]

HuffPollster's Alaska Senate chart gives Sullivan a nearly 10-point lead over his rivals, with 36.6 percent to Treadwell's 27 percent and Miller's 17.6 percent. John Jaramillo, an Air Force veteran, stands at 2 percent. [HuffPollster]

But primary polls have erred this year... - Harry Enten: "Keep in mind the average polling error in final 3 weeks this year in senate primaries is over 8 points. So Sullivan up 10 isn't a done deal." [@ForecasterEnten]

Begich leads Miller, faces bigger challenges from Treadwell, Sullivan - Polling on the three possible general election matchups, per HuffPollster's model:
-Begich 50.8 percent, Miller 37.5 percent [Chart]
-Begich 46.4 percent, Treadwell 42.4 percent [Chart]
-Begich 46.7 percent, Sullivan 43.7 percent [Chart]

More on what to watch in Alaska and Wyoming:

-Shushannah Walshe rounds up the races in both states. [ABC]
-Scott Conroy lists five questions looming over the Alaska primaries. [RCP]
-Maria L. LaGanga profiles the Alaska GOP Senate candidates. [LA Times]
-Cameron Joseph looks back at the primary campaign in Alaska. [The Hill]

USA TODAY, SUFFOLK TEAM UP FOR MIDTERM POLLING - From a press release: "USA TODAY and Suffolk University have formed a polling affiliation that will focus on key U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races leading up to the 2014 mid-term elections this November. The USA TODAY/Suffolk University polls will gauge public opinion on important statewide issues and its impact on U.S. Senate and Governors' races. 'We are pleased that USA TODAY has recognized the Suffolk University Political Research Center's accuracy and the astute analysis offered by its director, David Paleologos, by selecting Suffolk as a polling partner for the coming election cycle,' said University President James McCarthy. 'Our polling serves the electorate by providing perspective on the electoral climate, and the affiliation with USA TODAY provides a wonderful opportunity to disseminate the survey information to its millions of readers.' Paleologos will provide surveys throughout the mid-term election season on a schedule to be determined by the center and USATODAY." [PRNewsWire]

Suffolk and USA Today previously collaborated on a poll of non-voters during the last presidential election. [USA Today]

'Does this mean USATODAY is dumping Pew?' - So asks @AVD911, via Twitter. USA Today's Susan Page replies: "No. We're still working with Pew on national polls, but now adding statewide polls this fall with Suffolk." [@SusanPage]

2012 flashback... HuffPollster, in October 2012: "With a little less than a month until the election, one pollster says the race in three battleground states is over for President Barack Obama. 'I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red,' David Paleologos, the president of Suffolk University Political Research Center told Fox host Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday. 'We’re not polling any of those states again. We're focusing on the remaining states.'...In an email to The Huffington Post, Paleologos said it was an issue of prioritization. 'With just 5 statewide polls left in 3 1/2 weeks, the choice of which states to poll is always shifting,' he wrote. 'As of last night, there were at least five other states that we felt we must poll, many of which have higher head-to-head numbers (49 percent) for Barack Obama and which are more critical to deciding the national election.'" After the election, Business Insider asked him about the prediction, writing that "he didn't intend for the proclamation to come across as so audacious. In choosing not to enter the field and poll the states, he said he was simply following a rule to which many pollsters subscribe: the incumbent rule." [HuffPost, Business Insider]

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

TUESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-A new survey finds David Perdue (R) leading Michelle Nunn (D) by 9 points in Georgia. [SurveyUSA]

-PPP (D) releases polling in North Carolina and Kansas. [NC results, KS results]

-New Jerseyans narrowly agree with Gov. Christie's veto of gun legislation, but most think he should have met with Sandy Hook parents. [Rutgers-Eagleton]

-Support for the ACA is rising in California. [Field]

-Upshot charts America's racial divide. [NYT]

-Sam Wang doesn't see a wave coming in the 2014 elections. [New Yorker]

-Harry Enten is dubious about Rand Paul's chances to win over younger voters. [538]

-Ezra Klein explains why Obama won't give the Ferguson speech his supporters want. [Vox]