A New York Times/Siena College survey released Friday shows Republican incumbent Sen. Dan Sullivan leading independent challenger Al Gross by 8 points in Alaska’s Senate race, 45% to 37%. The survey of 424 likely voters, conducted Oct. 9-14, has a 5.7 point margin of error.

Sullivan, 55, entered the Senate in 2015 after he defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in the 2014 general election. Sullivan has been a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, voting against his impeachment earlier this year. 

Gross, a 58-year-old doctor and commercial fisherman, is an independent with liberal views. Gross supports a public healthcare option and abortion rights. 

The Sullivan campaign has attacked Gross, saying he is not a true independent, but rather a tool of the Democratic party. 

“Al Gross has attempted to mislead Alaskans from the onset about his independent label, which we know is frankly not being upfront with Alaskans,” Sullivan campaign manager Matthew Shuckerow told Roll Call in September. “Al Gross will empower national Democrats and their agenda, which is anti-Alaska, anti resource development and anti-second amendment.” 

Gross has attacked Sullivan for his ties to the Pebble Mine, a controversial mining project. Gross has also criticized Sullivan for not standing up to Trump on issues such as COVID-19 relief. 

Although it's likely that Sullivan will win his reelection bid, there has been a wildcard factor in previous Alaska elections. In 2010, moderate Republican Lisa Murkowski defeated Tea Party-backed candidate and GOP nominee Joe Miller by garnering over 100,000 write-in votes.

In the presidential race, the NYT/Siena survey for Alaska showed Trump with a 6-point edge over Democratic nominee Joe Biden, 45% to 39%. The poll indicated that 8% of Alaska likely voters support Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen, with 8% undecided or supporting someone else.

Trump won Alaska, which has 3 electoral votes, by a wide margin against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, 51.2% to 36.5%.