How the man has any stomach lining left, I do not know. But Mark Begich, Democratic candidate for the Senate has been in a holding pattern, 3300 votes behind Republican incumbent convicted felon Ted Stevens since Election night.
There may be as many as 80,000 ballots yet to count, including absentee ballots and those early votes that came in between Friday morning and Monday night. Nate Silver, the numbers guru at fivethirtyeight.com has looked over the returns and raises the following point:
Although Ted Stevens currently holds a lead of approximately 3,200 votes in ballots counted to date in Alaska’s senate contest, there is good reason to believe that the ballots yet to be counted — the vast majority of which are early and absentee ballots — will allow Mark Begich to mitigate his disadvantage with Stevens and quite possibly pull ahead of him.
The reasoning behind this is simple: some early ballots have been processed, and among those ballots Begich substantially leads Stevens. A tally of Alaska’s 40 house districts as taken from Alaska’s Division of Elections webpage suggests that Begich has won about 61% of the early ballots counted so far, as compared with 48% of ballots cast on Election Day itself.
So, if this trend continues with the votes still outstanding, Begich may pull this one off. Here are the current numbers:
Mark Begich 103337 46.61%
Ted Stevens 106594 48.08%
…and then Nate Silver does all kinds of statistical, mathematical, wonky magic, and we end up with:
Begich ahead in the final count by 3000 votes. For the man who won his race for mayor of Anchorage by 18 votes, this would be a landslide.