Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alaska Sen. Stevens going down

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 11:48 PM

For those still paying attention to the two undecided U.S. Senate races in other states, the NYT just gave word that the vote count outlook seems to be worsening for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. As of about an hour ago, election officials in the Frostbite State announced that the latest vote counts show challenger Mark Begich to be widening his lead:

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Mr. Begich, the Democratic mayor of Anchorage, has pulled ahead of Mr. Stevens, the Republican incumbent, by 2,374 votes. Mr. Begich has 146,286 votes and Mr. Stevens, 143,912. But elections officials caution that there are still 7,700 additional absentee ballots to be counted today, so the numbers could change in a few hours.

Not that any of this much matters to Uncle Ted. He's going off to prison. But the GOP wants to be able to keep his Senate seat in its column. Alaska, after all, is arguably the reddest state in the Union. It's only had a handful of senators in its entire history of statehood. One died in office; another, Frank Murkowski, appointed his daughter to take his place after being elected governor. An Alaskan senator has never lost a general election, so it's easy to see why the GOP wouldn't want the Democrats to get their foot in the door.

If the Alaska Senate seat does go to Begich, Republicans will be that much more desperate to keep Saxby in place. Things are getting more interesting all the time…

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