I did some number crunching last night on the Alaska Senate race looking at where the remaining absentee ballots are vs the votes in the respective Alaska State House Districts and discovered much to my surprise that based on where the remaining 25,000 absentee ballots are located, there are more R leaning Districts than D.
There are 5 ‘regions’ in the state and of those 5, 2 voted in aggregate for Dem House members (one is in Anchorage w/7700 votes left to count, and the other is in the ‘bush’ of Northern Alaska) and the other 3 are R leaning regions (2 significantly so)
Assuming that the Senate votes break in the same manner as the House votes (recognizably a large assumption) there would be 13,132 votes for Stevens, 12,488 for Begich.
There is an upside for Stevens though. There were 8 districts which did not have an opposing major party candidate in which the winner racked up 95%+ of the vote. Six of those 8 districts were Dem districts. No matter what the margin is in those 6 districts that are Dem, there’s no way that Begich gets 95%+ of those votes (ummm….right Achance?).
For example, using the formula that I did gave Begich 1908 votes in the bush country vs 374 for Stevens because in 3 of the 4 districts there wasn’t an R in the race. Based on what Achance said yesterday, Stevens usually does well in the bush but maybe not quite as well this year. He knows a heck of a lot more than I do about Alaska politics so I’ll defer to his knowledge.
So, assuming that in those 8 districts (6 dem and 2 pub) the candidate from the party not represented in the race pulls only 33% of the vote, the numbers become Stevens – 13656 / Begich 11,964 or more than enough to overcome the current 800 vote lead.
Caveats: there are still 15,000 questioned ballots; are the absentee ballots more or less likely to be for Stevens (remember, the early vote was 59 – 37 Begich and have all been counted, and less than 1/3 of the remaining ballots are from Begich’s home base of Anchorage); and Achance could come along with his vast knowledge of Alaskan politics and blow this out of the water accompanied by a comment that I don’t have a frickin’ clue what I’m talking about (which would be true)
However, although I am certainly nervous about this race, we may not be as doomed as we think (least that’s what’s in my regular prayers.)