Road to 60: Begich Now Leads Stevens by 3 814 Votes

Via Atrios comes some exciting news: Democrat Mark Begich now leads Republican Ted Stevens by 3 814 votes in the Alaska Senate race.

Ted Stevens (R): 131,382 votes (47.12 percent)
Mark Begich (D): 132,196 votes (47.41 percent)

As of 12:31 AM, 11/13/08

Considering Stevens was once up by about 3,000 votes, this trend doesn't look too bad for MyDD Road to 60 endorsee Begich. There still remain more ballots to be counted, so suffice it to say that this race could still go either way.

Update [2008-11-12 21:46:50 by Todd Beeton]:MSNBC reports that more than 10,000 ballots are still to be counted today and that the Alaska Division of Elections will count 35,000 more next week.

Update [2008-11-13 1:59:16 by Todd Beeton]:H/t to Senate Guru for this update on the votes that were counted on Weds and what's yet to come:

The state Division of Elections tallied about 60,000 absentee, early and questioned ballots on Wednesday. The ballots broke heavily in Begich's favor, erasing the 3,000-vote lead that Stevens had after election night last Tuesday.

The state still needs to count at least 15,000 questioned ballots and an estimated 20,000 mailed absentee ballots that made it to the Division of Elections after election day last Tuesday.

More good news for Begich: the remaining ballots from his base of Anchorage will not be counted until early next week.

Tags: AK-Sen, Alaska, Road to 60, Senate 2008 (all tags)




It will also keep Palin out of the Senate for sure! Meanwhile, Republicans are going after Martin and Carmouche with some pretty vicious ads.

by LeftistAddiction 2008-11-12 03:08PM | 0 recs

yes, which may even mean that if Ted loses by a few, the 'educated' pugs, read those against harriet Miers and Sarah, will likely want to live with it, rather than have her in the senate.

I have to admit it would almost be worth it, for the laugh factor, having Sarah give speeches in the senate, ask questions at hearings, there aren't going to be a lot of laughs in the coming months.

I hope Barack doesn't stop joking, I thought his comments have been pretty funny.   He can be very funny, did anyone ever post that roast that he and John did?  I'd like to see that one.  

by anna shane 2008-11-12 03:50PM | 0 recs

Does anyone really believe Palin would run in the Senate special if needed?  It just makes so much more sense for her to stay as Governor for awhile.  Then she could run against Murkowski if she really wanted the Senate.  After all, she's already booted one member of that family.  :-)

I've always thought it much more likely that the Lt. Gov. would run for the Senate seat (if Stevens won and was booted).  He's already tried for the House this year.

by LanceS 2008-11-12 04:21PM | 0 recs

Yes, absolutely she would!  It doesn't make more sense for her to be governor.  She would get a national stage, get some national level experience, and as Chuck Todd reported, she wouldn't be delayed in her responses to attacks from other republicans...

Here's the biggest clue.  Today on GMA, she said she wouldn't run for the senate seat.  Considering that she is a compulsive liar, that should tell you right there that she will... if not now, then in 2010, when she can challenge unpopular incumbent Murkowski.

by LordMike 2008-11-12 04:26PM | 0 recs

Yes, I'm pretty sure she wants the senate seat.  And I really hope Begich wins. I really don't want Palin contaminating the senate.

by Democrat in Chicago 2008-11-13 05:05AM | 0 recs

can u imagine hillary giving the smackdown on palin in the senate though.

not that i want her in there. but i could just imagine the amount of pain she would be dealt by democrats

by sepulvedaj3 2008-11-13 06:22AM | 0 recs

plus she can have more "executive" experience under her belt. She can also be an "outsider," which after two terms of a President, is generally helpful. I'd almost rather her be in the Senate so we can nab her on her votes. I'm actually very afraid of Palin, because if she waits 12 years like FDR did after being on the Cox ticket, which lost the worst popular landslide in history, 60-36(biggest margin ever), he came back when things were bad under the other party to two of the biggest landslide elections followed by two more routs. She's also very young too.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-12 04:26PM | 0 recs
Only problem with that comparison is

FDR was FDR, and Sarah Palin is, well...Sarah Palin.

by OfficeOfLife 2008-11-12 06:08PM | 0 recs

Plus a lot of Palin's appeal is her looks, which will be greatly diminished in twelve years. Plus, I hope in twelve years her abortion views will make her unable to run. Demographics are not in her favor.

by Lolis 2008-11-13 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Mark Begich Now Leads Ted Stevens

This is great news! The future is just looking brighter and brighter.

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-11-12 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Mark Begich Now Leads Ted Stevens

Also, it looks like about 30% of the total votes were left out of the intial tally (from the Great Orange Satan).  It was incredibly premature to call this thing so early.

/touch wood

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-11-12 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Mark Begich Now Leads Ted Stevens

You think that's why absolutely no official source actually called it?  :-)

by LanceS 2008-11-12 04:22PM | 0 recs
Intrade - Begich is 90%+ likely to win!

I think this is virtually over in our favor.  Begich has been favored the last several days because it was known the uncounted votes were in his districts.  These results confirm, and his lead should grow to a few thousand before this is over.


by sasatlanta 2008-11-12 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Intrade - Begich is 90%+ likely to win!

Same deal as with NC. Left uncalled for days, but it was long apparent that the remainder of the votes were all but certain to swing our way.

by vcalzone 2008-11-13 03:01AM | 0 recs

what are franken's chances i wonder?

i'm gonna call georgia a long shot, but i bet begich wins.

by theninjagoddess 2008-11-12 03:16PM | 0 recs
Low turnout in Georgia

definitely won't help Martin, that's for sure. Without Obama coattails I can't say I'm feeling good about his chances. The hard core voters will skew older, richer, and white.

For practical purposes, with 58 or 59 the Dems could bust most filibuster attempts (ol' Snarlin' Arlen won't be running again, doesn't have to worry about another primary). It doesn't all hinge on the Peach State, luckily.

by OfficeOfLife 2008-11-12 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Low turnout in Georgia

Why so sure Specter is retiring?  Byrd, Thurmond, Stevens--these guys don't go quietly.

Specter, Snowe, and Collins would help us with some filibusters.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-12 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Low turnout in Georgia

I'm gonna say right now that if we play our cards right, John McCain will be right at our side. The way he's been drawn and quartered by the GOP following his loss has been a shame, considering that he lost by trusting them and catering to their every whim.

Be the Maverick, John. You know you wanna. Help Obama redo the election process. Help him bring transparency back to the White House.

by vcalzone 2008-11-13 03:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Low turnout in Georgia

McCain is not voting with Democrats.  That's very wishful thinking.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-13 07:00AM | 0 recs
Maine and PA

Snowe and Specter. much more moderate. I dont think Specter would be holding up many filibusters. He is very old, and his seat will probably flip next time he is up to blue. He is for stem cell research etc.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-11-13 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: close.

The margin has been moving Franken's way in MN, and it sounds like more of the uncounted ballots come from Obama parts of the state.  I think Franken will win.  In fact, I went to Intrade to bet on it, but had too much trouble setting up/signing in and with not being able to pay by credit card.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-12 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: close.

Intrade and elsewhere are a bitch since that jackass Frist stuck the anti-gambling bill to the must-pass Port Security bill at literally the last hour in '06. I don't want to say too much but there are workarounds. You can check the gaming forums at for tips.

by Gary Kilbride 2008-11-12 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: close.

Georgia was never, ever, ever, ever going to happen. For a brief period, it seemed like Obama might be able to win by pulling the entire city of Atlanta into the voting booths.

It's definitely not happening now.

And you know what? It's more than just demographics. Two-three weeks before the election, I started seeing ads for Saxby that accused Martin of raising taxes and killing babies. Y'know what I saw back from Martin's side? Cutesy shit about Saxby pushing for the FairTax. The kind of thing that might play a little up in the north, but was SO far off the mark down here. I saw NOTHING about his attacks on Max Cleland, NOTHING on his role in the compromise on oil, NOTHING like that.

All future politicians in Georgia, heed my words! Politicians don't win down here by changing minds, they win by making people mad at the other guy. Martin should have tied Saxby's negative ads to his first campaign, hit him HARD on any moderate views, and changed his name to "Generic Democrat". That mighta given him a chance.

by vcalzone 2008-11-13 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: close.

Well, maybe not "Generic Democrat", more along the lines of "Blue Dog Democrat". But you get my point. Saxby could have been easily made into a Southerner In Name Only. He's an Episcopalian, for Christ's sake! It was a completely wasted, generic effort.

by vcalzone 2008-11-13 03:14AM | 0 recs

   That's fantastic news!!
by southernman 2008-11-12 03:26PM | 0 recs
I want this more than sunlight

I want that corrupt asshat Stevens to be packing his bags for federal prison, not DC for another term!

by IssaquahIndie 2008-11-12 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I want this more than sunlight

He's probably packing his bags for a cruise - I'd be shocked if Bush didn't pardon him on the morning of January 20th.  Bush's legacy is already shot, what does he have to lose?

by auronrenouille 2008-11-12 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I want this more than sunlight

Bush's legacy is already shot, what does he have to lose?

His dignity.

Oh wait....

by IssaquahIndie 2008-11-13 06:42AM | 0 recs
I would think

There's a lot of Republicans who wouldn't mind seeing Begich win this.  Stevens is going to be a considerable embarrassment to them for as long as he's in the Senate, and the sizable chunk of the party that dislikes Palin would just as soon not see her have the chance to maneuver herself into the Seat.

by Deeg 2008-11-12 03:37PM | 0 recs

One for Begich, one for Franken, and one for Martin.

All for one, one for all! Let's do this!!

by Scan 2008-11-12 03:43PM | 0 recs
Palin interested in the job

Sarah Palin, eyeing her aspirations, has said today, she wants to be senator, as she was sure Stevens won and will be expelled.

To early diva.

by rolnitzky 2008-11-12 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin interested in the job

Funny, on GMA, she said the opposite.. but, hey, what do you expect from a serial liar?

by LordMike 2008-11-12 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Mark Begich Now Leads

Berkowitz and Obama have also seen their numbers rise as the counting continues.  The presidential numbers have narrowed to 60-37, actually an improvement from 2004 when Kerry lost 62-35 (and especially compared to the 31 point thumping Gore took in 2000).  Were Palin not on the ticket, things would have been even better.

Berkowitz is back by under 6% now.  No one expects him to pull this out, but if it narrows further he may be in a strong position to take out Young in 2010 (if the corrupt bastard even runs again).

by Skaje 2008-11-12 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Mark Begich Now Leads

Last I checked it was 50-45.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-12 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Mark Begich Now Leads

Yes, Berkowitz gained a bit more with this last update.  Obama also picked up a bit more support, and McCain is under 60% now.

by Skaje 2008-11-12 10:18PM | 0 recs

Getting ever so close to 60 now.  Franken is still out there, so is Martin, of course.

In another way this may be good news for Lieberschmuck.  The closer we get to 60, the more we need the bastard to get around filibusters.  It is almost worth it to see the jerk get his for all the crap he has given us to do without 60, even if it is attainable somehow with him in the mix.  

by devilrays 2008-11-12 04:12PM | 0 recs
Not really.
There will always be 2-3 GOP senators to bulk filibusters, if we get to 58 without him, we no longer need him.
by rolnitzky 2008-11-12 05:12PM | 0 recs

We may get to 60 without Lieberschmuck.  All Obama has to do is appoint Snowe and Collins from Maine to cabinet positions, and presto.   ;-)

by devilrays 2008-11-12 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: You think any would accept?

I think they are both more likely to switch parties than to take a 4-8 year appointment in the Obama Administration.

I really think they need to start lobbying for that, especially Snowe who is a lot smarter than Collins.

by Vox Populi 2008-11-12 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: You think any would accept?

A box of crackers is smarter than Collins!  Snowe I respect.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-12 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: You think any would accept?

No one's said anything about this, but what about appointing Lieberman to something, maybe Ambassador to Israel?  I know CT's governor is a Republican, but maybe she'd be willing to appoint a Democrat given the strong Democratic leanings of her state (like maybe one of the 5 Democratic Representatives).

by LanceS 2008-11-13 03:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a chance

Agree--no chance.  I don't see why Obama wouldn't be president-elect without Gov. Blagojevich though.

I think open Senate seats should be filled by special elections, not appointments at all.  But we elect governors and presidents in part to make appointments--the Supreme Court should not be elected.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-13 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: You think any would accept?

Hi, nrafter!

This is off topic, but since I saw your name, I just wanted to say congratulations on your good work there in Virginia!

Funny how 2 months ago, we all thought your state was about to be lost!  You and your brother do great work!

Thank you for all your efforts!

by LordMike 2008-11-12 08:38PM | 0 recs

Can't vouch for the source but a commenter on Kos claiming access to the Begich campaign is saying Begich's lead is up to 523 now.  (Sorry if a version of this comment posted before; experiencing weird delays..)

by snowback 2008-11-12 04:42PM | 0 recs

would be the first Democrat to represent Alaska in Congress in 28 years.

The last Democrat to represent Alaska in Congress: zen master Mike Gravel (1981).

by mboehm 2008-11-12 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Begich...

ah gravel...good memories...

by obama4presidente 2008-11-12 07:06PM | 0 recs

by lorax 2008-11-12 09:31PM | 0 recs
Begich Now Leads Stevens

This is good news.

by GFORD 2008-11-12 08:41PM | 0 recs
contributing to Martin vs. Chambliss

Kleiman's latest post inspired me to contribute to Martin's runoff bid here: ices/contribution.aspx?X=NqjXO81IXYZntPa qXypreP1LqSo0CHUy

In the comment field I asked him to support Obama's healthcare initiative if he's elected.

We can hope and fret about Begich and Franken, but we can still actually affect the final tally in Georgia and there's no one more vile than Saxby Chambliss.

by obsessed 2008-11-12 11:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Road to 60: Begich Now Leads

In the end this is looking like most of the country this year - the Republican winning on election day and the Democrat winning on early ballots.  The difference is that unlike states like NC who do their early ballots on machines and therefore get them counted quickly, AK does all it's early voting on absentee ballots, which always take longer to count, especially since they had to verify each person didn't vote on election day (apparently they had 20 or so people do both in the primary).  Sounds like the Begich campaign targeted early voting as strongly as the Obama campaign did.

A little off topic, but I hope on one of her Monday appearances on Morning Edition Cokie Roberts gives her thoughts on Begich winning, given their (sad) connection.

by LanceS 2008-11-13 03:47AM | 0 recs


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