Saturday, November 15, 2008

Begich pulls ahead in Alaska Senate count

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Democratic challenger Mark Begich's lead over Republican incumbent/felon Ted Stevens was 814 on Thursday. It's now 1,022, with "about 24,000 ballots left to be counted, coming from Anchorage, Southeast Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula," according to the Anchorage Daily News. "The state will tally them all Tuesday."

It was expected that Stevens would actually narrow the gap somewhat yesterday, with many votes counted from "northern and western Alaska, the Mat-Su and the Fairbanks region, including the North Pole area, where Stevens is hugely popular." Instead, Begich pulled ahead by more than 200 votes.

There may yet be a recount next month, but, as of right now, with many votes still to be counted from Begich's Anchorage and southeast Alaska strongholds, the Stevens campaign seems to have read the writing on the wall:

The Stevens campaign has long gone silent, and once again Friday wouldn't comment on the race. The campaign office in Midtown Anchorage was largely deserted. The giant wall photos of Stevens were gone. So were the rows of campaign signs. All that remained was a pair of volunteers packing boxes.

(So... sad...)

(Tears... welling up...)

(Salty... salty discharge...)

No, it's not over yet, but it's certainly looking good for Begich.

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