Small Victory for Obama in Alaska

20 11 2008
US PRESIDENT
Total
Number of Precincts 438
Precincts Reporting 438 100.0 %
Times Counted 325054/495731 65.6 %
Total Votes 323820

Baldwin and Castle AI 1652 0.51%
Barr and Root LIB 1575 0.49%
McCain and Palin REP 192631 59.49%
Nader and Gonzalez IND 3757 1.16%
Obama and Biden DEM 122485 37.83%
Write-in Votes 1720 0.53%

Obama did not win in Alaska. Polls had him on an average of about 11 points behind in the weeks before the election. Alas, the numbers reflected in the polls turned out to be worse for Obama in the general election. At one point it looked like McCain-Palin took a whopping 65% of the vote.

With all the excitement of the Senatorial race, all anyone could think about was Begich vs. Stevens. First Stevens up, and Begich down. Then separated by 3 votes. Then Begich up and Stevens down. Begich more up. Uh-oh, Stevens gaining. Begich up again. It was dizzying, and everyone’s laser-sharp focus was trained on those returns.

But there’s one small victory that hasn’t been talked about much. After the whopping 90,000 votes that were counted in Alaska after election day, there was a shift in the presidential race. After the final tally, McCain-Palin won by 59.49%. LESS than 60%. And we can even round down to 59%! I’ll take it.

2008 McCain/Palin 59% Obama/Biden 38%

2004 Bush 61 – Kerry 35
2000 Bush 59 – Gore 28

Obama won the hearts of more Alaska voters than any Democrat in recent memory. And McCain-Palin, despite their surface appeal, with the Alaska Governor on the ticket, frankly, didn’t do all that well comparatively. I’m looking forward to 2012. I think we’re headed in the right direction.





A Mat-Su Teen Speaks Out

18 11 2008

Days in Alaska politics tend to focus on things like the Legislative Council, The Ethics Act, the endless and ongoing vote count in Alaska, the corruption and conviction of Alaska politicians and the latest comings and goings of our Governor… So when something like this lands softly in my inbox, it stops me in my tracks. This is part of an essay written by a self-described “Caucasian high school girl” named Waverli Rainey who lives in Palmer, Alaska. Palmer is the little town that sits right next to Wasilla.

Nov. 4 was a momentous moment for me. I went to the Wasilla Sports Complex for what was called a community event. We were told it was non-partisan because it’s a city building. However, once inside, it seemed as if it was a Republican-only event. Despite this, we stayed. Although I am too young to vote, I sat at the Sports Complex to see who would be the new president. I felt joy as I saw Sen. Barack Obama’s electoral points grow and grow. I clapped for and was impressed by Senator McCain’s graceful speech and his call for unity and support for the new president-elect.

I anxiously awaited what Present-elect Obama would say. Between speeches, a live band played music. However, when President-elect Obama began to speak, those running the event had to be asked to have the band stop so we could hear him speak. Eventually, they stopped playing, but we missed the beginning of the speech. Then half way through this historic speech, former Mayor Keller turned down the audio of President-elect Obama and put on a call from Governor Palin. I certainly understand the desire of Valley residents to hear from the governor, but if this was a non-partisan event, I feel that interrupting the next president was disrespectful. I also feel it did not represent the coming together of America that Senator McCain had only moments before asked his supporters to do.

The event was supposed to be for all parties, for all people, but it didn’t feel like it. I was shocked and offended. The event was supposed to be for supporters of Senators Obama and McCain and no one paid respect to President-elect Obama’s historic moment. Finally, another step toward complete equality and it seemed no one cared.

So the next day I borrowed my mother’s Obama shirt and walked into school wearing my pride on my chest. Finally the campaign was over and I was actively supporting our new president, even though I knew I would be vastly out numbered at school. I expected complaints and qualms about the new president, but I was not prepared for the flat-out racist remarks said openly in the halls and classrooms. I was appalled. While I sat at my desk trying to do my work I could hear my fellow classmates:

“I think we should kill Obama,” one said.

“I hope someone comes up and shoots him in the head,” another would say.

“I hate Obama … he’s black.”

On went the racist words for the full 80 minutes of that class. Angered, I began to think of the injustice of it all and the ignorance of the students I was surrounded by. I wondered where they learned to be so hateful, and I wondered why the teacher never stepped in – why no adult, no student, including myself, had the guts to cut in and say it was not OK. Because it’s never OK for intolerance. It is never OK to cut someone down and dehumanize them because they do not look like you, or think like you, or talk like you, or worship the way you do.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

All men are created equal. All men. That does not mean only if you’re the same color as me, think like me, talk like me, or worship who or how I do. It means regardless of age, gender, race, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or religion – we all have the right to life, liberty and happiness. Guilt does not follow race. All Arab-Americans are not Muslim extremists; being Arab-American simply means their family came from a certain part of the world. All Asian-Americans are not all like Kim Il-sung; Asian-Americans come from countries like China, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore and they are not all the same. All African-Americans are not guilty of the genocide seen in places like Rwanda and Kenya.

If we were all guilty of the sins of our race, then what am I — a Caucasian high school sophomore from Palmer, Alaska — guilty of? Am I guilty of stealing land from their Native owners? Am I guilty of enslaving Africans? Am I guilty of the slaughter of entire races of people? Am I guilty of imprisoning Chinese and Japanese in American interment camps?

As a Causation high school girl, it’s easy to forget things like in America you wear a color — often called black, or white, or yellow, or red, or brown. We do not pick our name or race — we’re not chameleons who can change color at will, it’s how we’re born and raised. Being African-American, or Latino, or Asian-American, or Native American, or Alaska Native, or Arab-American is not a crime. Being Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, or agnostic is not a crime. Wearing a burqa on your head, or glasses on your face, or studying all views of the world and seeing the flaws of all governments is not a crime.

Sometimes I think of a place where all of our languages are mashed together, singing of our own multi-heritage pride; the pride of a truly unified America. A place where we can be proud of our accents because this is how American English sounds, too. A place where there is no more White Power! or Black Power! Where it’s American Power! Or better yet, where it’s Human Power! A place that proudly conjures images of colonists throwing tea into a harbor, Martin Luther King Jr. standing on the steps of Lincoln Memorial, and immigrants working hard to achieve their American dream all at the same time. We are the story of our culture and colors and I’d like us all to take pride in it.

If ignorance and intolerance and bigotry is our past, then Waverli Rainey and those young people like her are surely our future. And we’re going to be OK.

To read the entire article in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, and leave a note of support for Waverli, click HERE.

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Crunching the Numbers in Alaska.

6 11 2008

OK…

I’m not generally a conspiracy theorist. I say “generally”, because sometimes conspiracies happen. And sometimes it would be foolish to ignore them. The only thing worse than being labeled a conspiracy theorist, is being labeled a gullible idiot when it all comes to light. So I invite you to hop on board the Conspiracy Theory Express with me for a moment, because it’s pulling out of the station here in Alaska, ready to take you on a five minute tour.

As the final numbers roll in from state and national elections, I and others have noticed some results that are interesting at best, and highly suspect at worst. Either way, they deserve some scrutiny.

Let’s look at the national numbers first. Keep in mind that Alaska’s very own Governor, and the new GOP golden girl, Sarah Palin, was on the ticket. And Barack Obama has excited progressive Alaskans like no candidate before. He had five field offices, great ground organization, and inspired the biggest candidate rally in Alaska history. Voter turnout here was expected to be through the roof and breaking all records.

In 2004, 66% of registered voters turned out to vote in the presidential election between George Bush and John Kerry.

In 2008, including the votes still outstanding, only 54% of registered voters turned out.

And the strangest part of all? Voter turnout in the primaries, before Palin was even on the ticket, was up 12% from 2004. We also had more than 20,000 new registered voters.

Curious.

As these strange numbers rolled in at Election Central, I was there watching. Here’s how it fell out over time.

With 36% of the precincts reporting:
61.76% for McCain
35.64% for Obama

With 81.3% reporting
61.54% for McCain
35.69% for Obama

With 96.1% reporting
61.29% for McCain
35.96% for Obama

Alaska, like many states, has blue areas and red areas. The Mat-Su Valley, home of Sarah Palin is very very red. Anchorage? Blue. The Kenai Peninsula? Red. Juneau? Blue. You get the idea. When I, and my fellow progressive celebrants watched the first numbers come in, we thought, “That must be the Valley”, because the latest polls actually had the presidential race neck and neck with Obama only 2.7 points behind. We kept waiting for the progressive areas of the state to kick in, but they never did. No fluctuations one way or the other more than .3%. And George Bush won the 2004 election her by a margin of…..61-35.

Strange.

Then, we’ve got the two Congressional races.

Ted Stevens vs. Mark Begich. The convicted felon is currently ahead by about 3300 votes, with about 60,000 absentee and early votes left to count. It’s a squeaker, and Begich may pull this one off. By why is it a squeaker when the last poll had Begich 22 points ahead? He’d been running at a dead heat in the polling before Ted’s conviction, but after the seven felony convictions came in, Begich’s lead widened considerably. Pretty stunning turnaround for Stevens.

Remarkable.

How about Ethan Berkowitz vs. Don Young for the Congressional seat?

Berkowitz consistently led Young in every single poll since May by 5-14 points. Contrary to this comfortable and consistent lead, Don Young managed to pull off a stunning upset by trouncing Berkowitz by more than 7 points.

Amazing.

And since history is always our best teacher, let’s look back at the 2004 elections in Alaska. The majority of precincts had voter turnout of over 100%. In some cases, voter turnout was over 200%. Either Alaskans are enthusiastic about their vote to the point of breaking the law and voting twice, or there’s something very very wrong.

(From Shannyn Moore) There are 40 districts in Alaska. The Anchorage area districts run from District 17 to District 32. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and pick any district from 17-32. Pay particular attention to the 3rd column labeled % turnout. Hit the back arrow and select another district. There are more precincts with voter turnout over 100% than under 100%. In other words, many more people voted in Anchorage area precincts than there were registered voters. Clearly, this is not possible. In 2006, the Democrats filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Division of Elections to release public records needed to verify the 2004 election results. The Democrats ALSO sought to have the Alaska Division of Elections release the raw election data for the 2006 election.

It’s been more than 24 hours since the polls closed in Alaska, and the red flags are already waving.

OK, the Conspiracy Theory Express bus 5-minute tour is over, and you may now hop off. This was just a test drive. Keep your eyes on how the final numbers turn out. Democracy requires vigilance, and hopefully our state candidates will not be afraid to stand their ground. The Obama campaign had a team of lawyers at the ready in case election fraud was detected. It’s a wise precaution, and an obligation to the electorate whose fundamental rights hang in the balance. If I were Ethan Berkowitz or Mark Begich or Barack Obama, I’d make sure I took the process to the end, and took advantage of the media spotlight which still shines on our state, before it vanishes, and we are left to sort out our election questions in the dark. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

UPDATE – Here’s some new coverage on this topic from The Washington Post and from 538.com.

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I Voted!

4 11 2008

vote11

I feel better.  I thought about voting early, but my usual polling place is generally pretty quiet, and I do love the festive feeling of voting on the day, so I waited.  Then I kept thinking….what if my name isn’t on the voter rolls?  I checked to make sure it was….but what if something happened AFTER I checked?  What if I get hit by a bus before election day?  What if my car runs into the ditch and I don’t make it in time?

So it was with great relief today that I walked into my polling place to finally vote.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  The poll worker who checked me in was a woman of color, and I had such a stupid smile on my face that I made her smile back in spite of herself.  There were 12 polling stations set up, and no line.  I dodged behind the curtain and just looked at the ballot for a minute.

I filled in Mark Begich, then Ethan Berkowitz, then my local race.  I saved Obama-Biden for last.  I took a deep breath and really thought about what it took to get to this day, not only all the incredible work that has gone into this particular election, but also to have a viable African-American candidate on the ballot as nominee for the President of the United States.

I hope to see a woman in that spot too, some day.  But I want to vote for a woman who has earned her place on the ticket through her own intelligence, principles, work ethic, determination and grit, not someone who got picked as a strategic calculation, and a poor one at that.  I looked at Palin’s name on the ballot.  After my deep breath, I filled in the Obama-Biden oval carefully…being sure not to leave one little white space.  Then I double checked to make sure I filled in the right oval, and didn’t make a horrible mistake because of my reverie.

Then off to the optical scan machine to watch my ballot get sucked into the little slot.  Number 555.  Pretty good turnout so far.  I’ll be back later to photograph the paper tapes they are required to post in the window.  In 2004, we had some precincts in Anchorage with a 220% voter turnout.  Not again.

We should be getting the first returns from the east coast within the hour!

vote2





Send Your Condolences to the Obama Family.

3 11 2008

As most of us know, Barack Obama suffered the loss of his grandmother Madelyn Dunham on Sunday night. 

HONOLULU (AP) — Barack Obama’s grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86.

Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C. The joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said Dunham died late Sunday night at her Honolulu apartment after a battle with cancer.

“She’s gone home,” Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle.

“And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I’m not going to talk about it too long because it is hard for me to talk about.”

But he said he wanted people to know a little about her — that she lived through the Great Depression and World War II, working the latter on a bomber assembly line with a baby at home and a husband serving his country. He said she was humble and plain spoken, one of the “quiet heroes that we have all across America” working hard and hoping to see their children and grandchildren thrive. [snip]

“She’s the one who taught me about hard work,” he said. “She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me.”

Michelle Obama’s voice choked with emotion during a campaign appearance in Colorado as she asked people to remember the woman her husband called “Toot,” a version of the Hawaiian word for grandmother, tutu.

“Say a prayer for Toot and thank her for raising Barack Obama. I think she did an amazing job,” Obama told about 2,500 people at a suburban Denver high school gym.

Please use this thread to send out wishes of support, and condolence to the Obama family. 

I will make sure that the Obama campaign in Alaska is aware of the thread and ask that they send your messages and prayers to the Obama family as they try to process their grief in this bitter-sweet time, just one day before the election.

If you would like to light a virtual candle, please click HERE.

*Note – Posts which are not messages of condolence to the Obama family will be deleted from this thread.  If you have something to say on another topic, please use the last thread, the forum board, or the chat room.





Signs of the Times in Anchorage. Open Season on Idiocy.

1 11 2008

I had to run an unexpected errand in South Anchorage today. My travels took me to “the Hillside” to one of Anchorage’s more lucrative zip codes. This is the area with the big houses that overlook the Anchorage skyline and Cook Inlet, where you expect to find many traditional Republican voters, and oil industry executives. I decided I was going to keep a tally of yard signs and see what I ended up with. I was quite surprised. Here’s the breakdown, with Democrats on the left and Republicans on the right.

Obama 4 – McCain  0
Begich 18 – Stevens  0 (Senate race)
Berkowitz  8 – Young  0 (House race)
Kenny 17 – Hawker  15 (Local House race)

The latest numbers now show Mark Begich with a 20 point lead over convicted felon Ted Stevens in the Senate race. Ethan Berkowitz is 9 points up in the House race over Don Young. And from the looks of it, the local Democrat might even stand a chance in this Anchorage red zone. My faith is restored.

The bad news in the sign department is that an Obama-Biden sign that got stolen and replaced down the street from me, is gone again. But my own sign, is still sticking proudly in its snowbank.

And remember a while ago, when I found signs hung up over the highway that said, “Obama 4 Change 2 Islamic Law -N- USA”? Well, the perpetrator obviously has nothing but time on his hands, because they’ve started popping up all over town. In actuality this tortured soul with the spray paint, the stencils, and the disregard for the English language has provided a new sport for my spouse.

Today's Haul.

Today's haul.

Spouse has started a collection, and everytime a sign is seen, the brakes screech, the exacto knife comes out of the glove compartment, and the sign ends up in my trunk. I think that Spouse secretly likes this activity. In any case, we  added three new signs to the collection today, which brings the total up to 8.

This time there was a new development….the name of a website was written on one of the signs. Since it was written in small letters, it’s doubtful that our sign maker intended it to be seen by the passing traffic. It was meant…..for US, the sign taker-downers.

Something looked fishy about the website address…. http://www.obessionthemovie.com. Obession? I tried it. No movie. It was as I suspected. I tried obSessionthemovie.com. Paydirt! Obsession – Radical Islam’s War Against the West. The trailer has collapsing towers, crowds chanting “Death to America”, and Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of the Fox crowd saying that “every single American should see this movie.”

So keep an eye out Anchorage and Eagle River area residents! It’s open season on illegally displayed, badly written, factually incorrect political signs with spelling mistakes! And you don’t even need a hunting license!

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Obama Rally in Homer, Alaska!

28 10 2008

Reports and pictures continue to come in from Mudflatters around the state holding rallies and events for Barack Obama.  These latest shots come from Judi Nester, the Homer Obama co-Chair, in Homer, Alaska, a wonderful small town of about 5000 people located on the Kenai Penninsula, about a four hour drive south of Anchorage.

Judi writes:

Some of the things that we have done in Homer is send out 2,500+ postcards to voters in the swing states of Ohio, PA and IN – phone canvass in Ohio and, of course, Homer and walking canvass of the Homer area. Organized a big rally in the Park – called Unite for Peace and Change – which registered voters and gave a forum for people to make speeches about Obama/Biden. We had speakers ranging in age from 17 to 70+. Now like many Obama campaign volunteers, we are engaged in the GOTV effort in Homer.

We were inspired by the Women for Obama event in Anchorage to do our own photo shoot.  The photos and blog about the event in Anchorage was terrific.  We were able to get over 50 volunteers for our own photo shoot yesterday which is about 1% of the population of Homer.

We have been feverishly working here since about April of this year and have a wonderful volunteer base.  I read Mudflats everyday to get an idea of what’s really happening in Alaska politics.  It’s been wonderful, especially with what everyone has been able to do in the troopergate investigation.

I hope, some day after Obama is firmly entrenched in office, he hears about how hard Alaskans have worked for him, and how many of us have used our energy, our time, and our sign-making ability to be out taking his message to the state of Alaska.

A big hat tip to all the intrepid core volunteers for Obama in Homer – Bob, Kat, Elizabeth, Sharon, Frank, Ingrid, Kim, Shannon, Christie and Bob (the photographer).  Also to the Palpitations musical comedy group for their fabulous performances at three events!

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Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama!

25 10 2008

Holy Cow.  Alaska’s largest newspaper has endorsed a candidate for president, and it isn’t the guy that shares the ticket with our own Maverick Governor!  As irritated as I have been by the sometimes cloying, often gushy coverage of Sarah Palin, it is inconceivable that any thoughtful person or entity living in the state of Alaska, could possibly think that she is the best choice to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

The Anchorage Daily News Endorses Barack Obama. (I just felt like typing that again.)

Here are the highlights:

Alaska’s founders were optimistic people, but even the most farsighted might have been stretched to imagine this scenario. No matter the outcome in November, this election will mark a signal moment in the history of the 49th state. Many Alaskans are proud to see their governor, and their state, so prominent on the national stage.

Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.

[snip]

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.

[snip]

Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she’s a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight.

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

And to further redeem themselves in the eyes of the Mudflats Editorial Board (me), they have coverage of today’s Obama rally right there on the front page online, with a nice write-up and a picture.  I had given the first ever “Moose Nugget Award” to the paper after their heavy coverage of the meager pro-Palin rally, and hardly a mention of the gigantic pro-Obama rally happening at the same time right down the block.  Now, I would like to acknowledge that they have tried to make amends, and upgrade them to the coveted “Gilded Moose Nugget!”  (Loud applause, and caps tossed in the air!  Approving snorts from polar bears, wolves howling and chasing their tails!)

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Obama Rally Finale in Anchorage!

25 10 2008

Another great group of Obama supporters congregated on the Park Strip in Anchorage today.  This time, they were on an artistic mission.  The goal?  To create a giant Obama logo made up of pixel people in colored plastic ponchos. 

When I arrived, there were about 300 people already there, and just starting to take their positions.  I laughed because the size of this crowd would have totally blown me away a couple months ago, but now, after a series of enormous rallies (Alaska Women Reject Palin, Alaskans for Truth, Statewide Obama rally), it seemed perfectly normal!

Once again, everyone was all smiles, despite the VERY cold temperatures.  The blue people were being guided into place, by people with bull horns.  Then the white ones filled in part of the center.  Then red ones.  Then more white ones.  All the placement was meticulously coordinated by someone operating a camera from the top floor of a hotel across the street, who gave directions via walkie-talkies to the crew on the ground.  The event was promoted as an Alaska Women Support Barack Obama event, but men were welcome, and plenty showed up!

There were lots of progressive canines decked out in various types of attire, and it was a wonderfully diverse and enthusiastic crowd all around.  Once again there was lots of honking from passing cars, and people rolling down windows to give us big thumbs up in the frigid air.  There was one sad lonely guy on the corner with a sign that said, “Barack Hussein Obama Will Destroy the United States.”  It reminded me of the guy on the street corner with the ancient dog-eared decrepit sign that reads, “The World Will End Tomorrow.”

Finally the finished logo was in place, and the group started chanting O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA! which eventually morphed into “Yes We Can!”  And I allowed myself a few moments of imagining what it would be like if Alaska went for Obama this year. 

Then the coordinator with the bullhorn told everyone to remember where they were standing and what their neighbors looked like.  Then, from the top of a ladder he told everyone to disperse out of the “frame” and then when he gave the command, to run in from all sides and reclaim their positions.  He warned everyone to expect total chaos, but that it would be fun.  He was right.  People of all colors – reds, whites, and blues – separated, and then ran back together with whoops and hollers, spinning in circles, clapping, cartwheeling, and jumping, and remarkably formed a pretty decent regenerated logo in less than a minute!

By the time I got back to my car, my nose was red, my thighs were burning, my fingers were numb, and my face was frozen in a big grin.

The rally was organized to send a last-minute photo message to the rest of the country that Alaskans support Obama in large numbers, and that not all Alaskans are in love with Sarah Palin….not by a long shot.  I’ll post pictures of the official logo shot, and video as soon as they become available!

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The Obama Landslide in Alaska. It’s All How You Look at It.

22 10 2008

Brand new poll numbers came out yesterday from Ivan Moore Research, here in Anchorage.

McCain-Palin – 53
Obama-Biden – 42

While McCain/Palin still has a double digit lead, frankly this is a really big deal.

Here is the way Alaska fell out for the last three presidential elections so you can compare:
McCain 53 – Obama 42 (results on 10/21)
Bush 62 – Kerry 35
Bush 59 – Gore 28
Dole 51 – Clinton 33

So, the McCain/Palin ticket in Alaska has managed so far to generate only slightly more interest than Bob Dole. Remember him? And that’s with our governor on the ticket! That’s not much in the way of bragging rights. As a matter of fact, I’m ready to call this a major psychological victory for Obama and the Democrats in Alaska. I feel quite comfortable, in my non-scientific way, to tell you that if Palin were not on the ticket, we’d have a horse race here, in the ruby-reddest-flaming-lobsterized- fire-engine-colored state you can imagine.

As an Alaskan, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the last two months with a metaphorical bag on my head, sinking down in my chair, but now I’m actually feeling a little proud of us. *satisfied sigh*

If the latest Palin debacles of wardrobe-gate, and travel-gate have any effect, and the race goes to a single digit spread, you’ll hear Democratic corks popping all over the state. That’s a landslide.

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New Poll Numbers for Alaska

8 10 2008

We’ve all been waiting for some current poll numbers from Alaska. Here are the latest numbers from Rasmussen.

McCain 55% Obama 40%

Before his selection of Vice Presidential running mate, McCain led in Alaska by a mere 5 points.

McCain favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 64%

Unfavorable: 36%

Obama favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 48%

Unfavorable: 51%

Palin favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 63%

Unfavorable: 37%

Biden favorability rating in Alaska:

Favorable: 51%

Unfavorable: 46%

It is interesting to note that Palin’s favorability rating has plummeted by 20 points since she became the Republican VP nominee. The people of Alaska have been learning a lot about our Governor since late August, and many don’t like what they see. Others are simply rooting for the home team. Others know the issues and where she stands, and like what they see. And while she still retains popular support overall, she has been actively burning bridges with political colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and no amount of federal earmarks are going to build them back. There’s an old adage that says “be nice to people on the way up, because you’re sure to meet them on the way down.” It could be a painful homecoming for the Governor.

Meanwhile in the rest of the nation….

Gallup National Daily Tracking poll:

Obama 52% McCain 41%

This is Obama’s largest lead yet. While McCain isn’t doing much to “change the game,”
and his less than stellar performance in last night’s debate plays a part in Obama’s growing lead, we can’t ignore the Palin effect. The initial “bump” was obvious, but while support from evangelicals and hard-core social conservatives remains galvanized, Palin’s fringe views, low-ball tactics, and obvious empty-headedness on issues of foreign policy have turned her in to a millstone around McCain’s neck in much of the nation.

Obama may not win Alaska, but the numbers are strongly trending back his way. And, for the first time in a long time, there are two very viable Democratic candidates for 2 of our 3 congressional seats, all currently held by Republicans. Progressives in the state are waking up, and Alaska is becoming purple one way or another.





Obama-rama in Juneau, Alaska!

5 10 2008

Here it is….from the capitol city of Alaska! Several hundred Juneau-ites came together and rallied for Obama-Biden! For a city of 30,000 people, that’s saying something! Here’s the recap with photos from Mudflatter Sandy Beach!

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Juneau had a great party today. It was held at our Juneau Arts & Cultural Center, the former Armory. Participants were instructed to make a sign that reads “I am an Alaskan __________, and I choose Obama/Biden.” You were to fill in the blank with a word to describe yourself. As you can tell from the pictures, most people did just that. There were Alaskan mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, animal lovers, hockey players, fishermen, moose hunters, nurses, dietitians, pastors, Christians, Lesbians, state employees, rednecks, developers, entrepreneurs, poets, musicians, and even a few Republicans. There was music, an emcee, and a visit from Juneau Representative Beth Kertulla. In fact, someone who looked a lot like Sarah Palin showed up and gave a speech, although she looked a bit unsteady on her high heels. Note: See the the woman with a child in her arms that faux Sarah is posing with? That’s the real Sarah—Sarah Conarro, that is, whose brainchild this whole event was.

The people you see working intently at small tables are doing one of two things: making a sign or writing postcards. The local Obama campaign people provided stacks of lovely Alaska postcards pre-addressed to undecided voters in the swing state of Pennsylvania. Obama-Rama attendees wrote personal notes to them, suggesting how they might want to vote on Nov 4.

At one point, the crowd took their signs outdoors to greet the traffic on Egan Drive. Kudos to Sarah Conarro for throwing a great party!