AK-Sen: Just Look at the Eye Candy

I don’t believe the title needs further explanation.

Can you guess what this map is of?

The map up top is the 2008 race between Mark Begich and Ted Stevens, in which Begich prevailed by 1.25%.

If you guessed that correctly (without cheating), 10 points for Gryffindor. If you did cheat and look at the file name, boo on you too, but you can look at the Anchorage inset anyways:

Here’s a redux of the Murkowski-Miller race (blue for Murk, Red for Miller; Absentees not included):

And you can judge for yourself similarities between that at the 2008 GOP primary, Young-Parnell (Young in blue, Parnell in red):

I’m not that optimistic about Scott McAdams’ chances in November, but there does seem to be a path for him:

Areas of strong Begich performance are decently correlated with areas of strong Murkowski performance – or put differently – weaker Miller performance. Given that, this seems to bode somewhat better for McAdams, in that he could piece together the Begich coalition of Anchorage + Outlying Areas + Juneau for a win, pulling in disaffected Murkowski GOPers. Those areas (notably, GOP voters in those areas) weren’t exactly hopping for Miller.

SSP Daily Digest: 6/16 II: Electric Boogaloo

MO-Sen: In an e-mail to local TV affiliate KY3, former Treasurer Sarah Steelman seems to be walking back her comments to the Hill yesterday, not wanting to appear to shut the door on a GOP primary bid against Rep. Roy Blunt. She says she’s still “very seriously considering” it.

PA-Sen: Here’s an interesting development: a state legislator in Pennsylvania has introduced a bill to switch Pennyslvania from closed to open primaries. This seems like a nakedly pro-Specter bill: it would have helped him survive his GOP primary against Pat Toomey, and now it would have the opposite effect, helping him survive a Democratic primary against Joe Sestak by opening the door to independents and moderate Republicans.

AK-AL: Unless the indictment fairy has a present for him soon, Rep. Don Young looks to have a much easier go of it in 2010 than last cycle. Not only is his Dem challenger ex-state House minority leader Ethan Berkowitz likely to run for governor instead, but now it sounds like his primary opponents, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell and ex-state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, aren’t going to run again either. Unlike last time, Parnell would need to give up his LG job to run, and he may instead be running for Governor if Sarah Palin declines to run again. Businessman Andrew Halcro, who ran for Governor as an independent in 2006, also sounds likely to run for Governor rather than challenge Young. State Senator Hollis French, who sounded like a likely Governor candidate for the Dems until Berkowitz showed up, may be the Dems’ best bet.

AL-07: The field to replace Artur Davis got bigger, as Jefferson Co. Councilor Shelia Smoot officially launched her campaign. She joins lawyer Terri Sewell, state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr., and former Selma mayor James Perkins in the primary (which is the only real race in this D+18 district).

CA-11: Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf turned down the chance to run as a Republican in the upcoming CA-10 special election, but that seemed to ignite his interest, as now he’s considering running in 2010 in next-door CA-11 against sophomore Rep. Jerry McNerney, at R+1 a more plausible race than the D+11 CA-10.

FL-08: Republican state Representative Steve Precourt is considering making the race against Rep. Alan Grayson in this R+2 Orlando-area seat. His strongest words seemed to be reserved for likely primary opponent Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, who Precourt doesn’t see as a “fresh face” or viable, although Precourt said he’d stand down if former state Sen. Daniel Webster got in.

ID-01: The Republican field in ID-01 is filling up, as state House majority leader Ken Roberts announced he’s in. He’ll have to get past veteran and McCain ally Vaughn Ward before facing off against Rep. Walt Minnick, though. Ex-Rep. Bill Sali occasionally makes threatening noises about a rematch, but he hasn’t said anything definite.

NH-02: Former state Rep. Bob Giuda (not to be confused with Frank Guinta, running in NH-01) is the first GOPer to launch an exploratory committee in the race to fill Rep. Paul Hodes’ open seat. He may still be joined by the 2008 candidate, Jennifer Horn, and, more remotely, a return by ex-Rep. Charlie Bass.

NY-23: Douglas Hoffman, the head of a local accounting firm, has thrown his hat into the GOP nomination contest for the special election to replace Rep. John McHugh. Republicans also announced their schedule for picking a nominee, involving four regional meetings around the districts where candidates would speak to the Republican county committee members over a two- to four-week period once there’s an official vacancy.

PA-03: Freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, representing the swingy R+3 district based in Erie (won by John McCain by 62 votes), has managed to secure a hot ticket in view of its self-imposed membership cap: she joined the Blue Dog Coalition.

Redistricting: A petition drive is underway in Florida to get an initiative on the ballot for 2010 that, while not creating an independent redistricting campaign, would at least place some non-partisan limitations on the creation of House and legislative districts. Most of the money behind the petition drive is coming from Democrats, but two prominent Democrats aren’t on board with the drive: Reps. Alcee Hastings and Corrine Brown, both of whom stand to inherit more difficult districts if they’re made less convoluted.

AK-AL: Parnell Up In His Own Internal

Basswood Research for Sean Parnell (8/5, likely voters):

Sean Parnell (R): 42

Don Young (R-inc): 38

Gabrielle LeDoux (R): 8

(MoE: ±5.7%)

Last week we saw a poll for the GOP primary in the Alaska House race from Ivan Moore that had Young up by a solid 8-point margin. The Parnell camp counters with its own internal poll showing him beating Young by 4 points. The sample was taken on Aug. 5, so this is post-Trooper-gate.

The poll doesn’t appear to test the various configurations for the general election. The primary will be held Aug. 26.

In other somewhat-related grumpy-old-corrupt-guys-from-Alaska news, the feds are fighting Ted Stevens’ attempts to change the venue of his trial from Washington DC to Alaska, claiming the unlikelihood of finding an impartial jury. This is important, because a) any delay makes it less likely the trial will be resolved before Election Day, and b) Stevens will be able to campaign in his off-hours if the trial is in Alaska, while he can’t if he’s stuck in DC.

AK-AL: Young Leads Primary Field

Ivan Moore Research (7/18-22, likely voters):

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 52

Don Young (R-inc.): 37

Don Wright (I): 7

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 40

Sean Parnell (R): 43

Don Wright (I): 5


Lost in all the hubbub from a couple weeks ago when several polls showed Mark Begich opening up a huge lead on Ted Stevens (even before the Stevens indictment) was that, in the fine print, Ivan Moore also polled Alaska’s House seat as well. Former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz leads corruption-scented incumbent Don Young by a sizable margin but barely loses to comparatively clean Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.

The good news for Berkowitz: the primary matchups are also polled, and this shows Young with an edge over Parnell. The poll was taken just as Trooper-gate was breaking (in fact, that’s one of the problems with polling over multiple days: Trooper-gate was significantly more broken on the 22nd than on the 18th), so it may show Parnell getting hit with some Palin blowback. He may be in an even worse position now, as he’s taken a decidedly low-profile approach since the scandal surfaced. The primary is August 26.

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 54

Diane Benson (D): 25

Don Wright (D?): 5


Don Young (R-inc.): 46

Sean Parnell (R): 38

Gabrielle LeDoux (R): 6


Special thanks to Ivan Moore for sharing these numbers with the Swing State Project. The full results are available below the fold.

Read this document on Scribd: AK-AL Moore Poll3

AK-AL: Young Trails Benson and Berkowitz in New Poll

Diane Benson, Rep. Don Young’s foe in 2006, just released a new poll (PDF) today showing the scandal-plagued incumbent trailing both Benson and former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz, who are vying for the Democratic nomination.  Both Dems also lead Young’s Republican primary challenger, state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.

Craciun Research Group for Diane Benson (10/27-11/02):

Diane Benson (D): 45.3%

Don Young (R-inc): 36.7%

Undecided: 15.6%

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 49.7%

Don Young (R-inc): 35.1%

Undecided: 13.8%

Diane Benson (D): 45.0%

Gabrielle LeDoux (R): 12.3%

Undecided: 38.2%

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 49.0%

Gabrielle LeDoux (R):  13.8%

Undecided: 32.9%

(MoE: ±4.9%)

If this poll is remotely accurate, Young is screwed.  An earlier poll, conducted in August by Ivan Moore Research, showed Young trailing Berkowitz by nearly 6 points.  The environment hasn’t exactly improved for young since then, so who knows.

The poll also shows a reasonably close primary race between Benson and Berkowitz, with former Alaska Democratic Party Chair Jake Metcalfe in third:

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 28.6%

Diane Benson (D): 21.1%

Jake Metcalfe (D): 8.3%

Undecided: 33.8%

(MoE: ±5.7%)

Interestingly, 6% of respondents volunteered the name of Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, who appears set to challenge Sen. Ted Stevens (R) next year.  Another Ivan Moore poll, released last month, showed Berkowitz leading Benson by a 26 point margin.

This is shaping up to be an explosive race.

PS: Check out Young’s new campaign website.  Get a load of his slogan: “No One Has Done More, No One Will Do More.”  Who does he think he is?  Superman?