Alaska's Democratic Senator is Not Losing Re-Election, for Some Reason

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 1 2013 11:41 AM

Alaska's Democratic Senator is Not Losing Re-Election, for Some Reason

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (R) speaks as Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) listens during a news conference December 5, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Alaska is notoriously difficult to poll, but this Harper Polling survey both 1) comes from a Republican outfit and 2) has a large sample size: 1,127 voters. And it has one of 2008's most accidental victors holding his own.

[Democratic Sen. Mark] Begich leads Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) by 44 to 34 percent, and holds a gaping 52 to 29 percent lead against 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller (R), two Republicans who've indicated interest in the race. He also leads former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) by 47 to 40 percent.

Miller, the great-on-paper conservative who took the 2010 GOP nomination, is one of the very few candidates who can say he lost to a write-in. Scott Conroy's done an admirable job explaining just how screwed the party would be if Miller ran and won again. But Treadwell is already running, on the theory that a guy with an R after his name, in a Democratic president's midterm year, with a popular Republican governor atop the ballot, should be able to knock off Begich.


It's possible! Begich and North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan are the red-state Dems to watch this year, as both of them won in unique conditions (Begich was running against an indicted Ted Stevens, Hagan had Obama turning out black voters), and both have evaded the anger of rural white voters because Democrats never moved on gun control. Until recently, when Democrats started moving on gun control.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?


Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 3:53 PM Smash and Grab Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 20 2014 3:40 PM Keeping It in the Family Why are so many of the world’s oldest companies in Japan?
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 10:23 AM Where I Was Wrong About the Royals I underestimated the value of building a team that’s just barely better than mediocre.