According to two sources, former candidate for U.S. Senate Dr. Al Gross is said to have commissioned a poll from “Change Research,” the same company that was 12.7 points off when he ran for U.S. Senate last year against Senator Dan Sullivan. I’m told that Gross has shared the details of the poll with Alaska politicos claiming it shows that “he alone” can beat Governor Dunleavy.
But the poll Gross is said to be relying on to justify a potential gubernatorial run shows him trailing former Alaska Representative and Democratic candidate for Governor Les Gara — which is amazing when one considers the level of name recognition Gross was able to achieve last year. Gross’s negatives have remained relatively unchanged since last year’s election, but his positives have plummeted according to those with knowledge of the poll, which would make him not only the worst candidate to run for governor should he do so, but Gross would be the only candidate in the Governor’s race with a net negative approval rating.
Imagine having voters view you that negatively even after a Democratic Super PAC dropped $4 million into last year’s race, and after your own campaign reported raising $9 million in the final quarter of that same race.
The poll is said to place Les Gara in second place behind Governor Dunleavy, Gross in third place and former Alaska Governor Walker in fourth place — but again, this is a poll said to have been conducted by a company that got last year’s election so embarrassingly wrong.
Gross is said to have asked two individuals to run as Lieutenant governor, but both are said to have declined. Even worse is that one of Gross’s own campaign operatives is said to want him talked out of running for governor altogether.
Last year, polling showed Gross had drawn the Alaska Senate race to a tie and that he had a chance at picking up undecided voters and Sullivan voters. When all was said and counted, Gross didn’t just lose to Sullivan — he was crushed by nearly 13 points.
In August, Dr. Gross’s Twitter account retweeted The Alaska Landmine who had written that there was a lot of chatter about Gross entering the governor’s race. Those who responded to Gross’s retweet suggested Alaskans would not benefit from a moderate who spends his resources trying to win over Republicans who are never going to vote for Gross anyway, while others suggested they only voted for Gross because Sullivan wasn’t palatable.
But perhaps the most compelling argument in opposition to Gross running for governor is one that can be found far and wide across social media, and one that should be evident to Gross himself — that he simply can’t win a statewide race for elected office.