Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday with the Senators – Post Convention Edition

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Since we last looked at these folks, there have been another green Jell-O moment, two hurricanes, and a very interesting remark from Tom Cole. (Yeah, that’s the House, but the thought carries here.)

Today let’s start with North Carolina. I start here because I made my Senate picks back in January. And there is this professional pollster I know who explained to me that there was no chance that Liddy Dole could ever lose her seat. That perhaps there would be one outlier poll, but it couldn’t happen, and there would never be a trend. He was disdainful to me. So, I wish to take the opportunity to say, “Gary...HA!” Sure, the election isn’t over, but there is certainly a trend. The latest poll has Kay Hagan up by 5, at 50%. The most recent poll before that had her up by 3.

North to Alaska. And honest, I don’t get it. Mark Begich’s lead has shrunk to 3. Then again, jury selection in Ted Steven’s trial is set for 22 September. The primary results from last month are still in flux: they are giving people until Wednesday to get ballots in from overseas.
So here we go: In the
Alaska Press poll, Mark Begich vs. Ted Stevens: it was 55.5% to 38.5% in mid-August, and now Begich’s lead has shrunk to 48.9% to 45.6% in early September. I honestly am at a loss for words to explain how people are committed to voting for someone up on a bunch of felony charges.

As an aside, while Ted wins his primary no matter what the overseas/absentee count, the same is not true for Don Young in the Republican primary for the sole House seat. He’s up about 150 votes, and that really can change. Ethan Berkowitz easily won the Democratic primary. Alaska Press also polled this race, and they find in the Berkowitz-Young match-up, Ethan bests Don 54.4% to 37.3%, up from the mid-august spread of 51.3% to 40.6%. However, if Sean Parnell wins the primary, the numbers are 37.5% for Ethan and 48.9% for Sean.

Here’s why we care: Sean Parnell is the Lt. Governor of Alaska. So let’s pretend you’re an
Alaska voter. You could be a Democrat (73,446 registered as of August 2008), a Republican (120,611) and undeclared voter (181,133), or a member of some other party (yes, including the Alaska Independence Party). There are a total of 479,821 registered voters in Alaska.

You can vote the McCain ticket, and if they win, you lose your governor. If you lose your governor to the White House, do you want your Lieutenant Governor in Juneau, or in DC? Do you want your Senator to possibly serve out his Senate term in Federal prison? Are you one of those people who wants the White House party in power to be opposite from the party in control of both Houses of Congress?

Oh, and before we leave Alaska, Ted Stevens has a
527. Sarah Palin was on the Board when it incorporated.

All the other races are pretty much where they were last week. Expect additional polling and ads this week as people suddenly have more time now that the conventions are over.