Go ahead and rub your eyes, and look at that graph again. You saw it right. Less than 3 points separating the candidates in Alaska, as of yesterday. These are the latest numbers released by Alaska’s Hays Research Group. With Obama-Biden nipping at the heels of McCain-Palin, can we be considered a battleground state again?
In Alaska, it’s not unreasonable to expect an “enthusiasm factor” to come into play. Imagine you are an Alaska Republican. (Don’t worry, this won’t last long). Imagine that Senior Senator and Republican icon Ted Stevens just got hit with seven felony convictions and his numbers have slid off a cliff. Then imagine that your lone Congressman Don Young, another Republican icon, has spent $1.2 million of his campaign money on legal fees, and his indictment is coming as sure as the seasons change and the sun rises. His rival, Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, has a comfortable lead. Then imagine that your presidential ticket, McCain-Palin is sending out spokespeople saying that they’re still sort of in the race if they win (insert long list of states, and statistical improbabilities here) AND mange to pull it off in (another long list of states and statistical improbabilities). Then add the fact that you’ll have to go stand in line with a bunch of happy, optimistic Democrats, and you may decide to just sit this one out. Too depressing. And you may have the makings for a single digit race in Alaska.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Obama loses in Alaska by single digits, it is a LANDSLIDE victory. Remember that. And if he actually wins? You’ll hear the cheering from the Lower 48 (AND Hawaii)!