Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Sarah Palin’s primary pick to beat Rep. Don Young failed; race finally called

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Originally published on on Thu, 09/18/2008 – 11:07am

Today is September 18, 47 days until Election Day, and the Republicans in Alaska finally know who their candidate will be for the lone U.S. House seat on November 4.

Don Young survived a recount from his primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, by 304 votes. As the Who have said, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Young, who has had the seat since 1973, is 75 years old and under investigation (not indictment, unlike Sen. Ted Stevens, who is also running for re-election). So Gov. Sarah Palin (yes, you now know who she is) worked really hard to defeat Young, especially by sending her running mate, Parnell, into the fight.

And she came up short — in her own party’s primary — to a 75-year-old guy under investigation that she didn’t want running in November.

But true, it was close. Young finished with 48,195 votes; Parnell had 47,891 votes. By contrast, Young got 115,062 votes in the 2006 election, good for 56.6% of the vote. And Young now starts his general election campaign almost a month behind the Democratic Party challenger, former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz.

One element that will help Young and Stevens is that the selection of Palin may energize more Republicans to go to the polls in Alaska in November to vote for Palin. As you can gather from the small vote totals, every vote really does count.

If Stevens wins and is indicted, the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin (unless she wins in November or Troopergate is more serious than we thought) picks Stevens’ replacement. And Palin and Stevens do have a professional relationship, given that she once ran one of Stevens’ 527 groups.

For a state we normally pay very little attention to, Alaska politics will have a bright shining light on it (even if they don’t have much sunlight in November). The polls close in Alaska at 8 p.m. Aleutian time (islands to the far west of Alaska, one hour behind most of Alaska), which is 1 a.m. Eastern. Better get lots of coffee ready.


Written by democracysoup

September 18, 2008 at 11:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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