At least according to a leading GOP pollster in Alaska…
â€œI donâ€™t think Stevens can come back,â€ [GOP pollster David] Dittman said, noting that he thinks the remaining trove of uncounted ballots will help Begich â€œincrease his lead.â€
Even if Begichâ€™s advantage grows, however, Dittman believes itâ€™s highly unlikely that Stevens will concede the race until every last ballot is counted. â€œHeâ€™s probably waiting in Washington,â€ Dittman said. â€œI havenâ€™t talked to him since the evening of the election, when I called and just told him I was sorry for the way it turned out.â€
Dittman believes early and absentee ballots, which comprise the approximately 40,000 votes left to count, will likely reflect Begichsâ€™ overall advantage so far among those who took advantage of either process. Heavy early voting occurred in the period that directly followed Stevensâ€™ conviction on seven felony counts of making false statements on his Senate financial disclosure forms.
So while congrats aren’t yet in order for Democratic challenger Mark Begich…they could be soon.
What’s more, the Democratic supermajority is still a possibility if Al Franken can eek out a win in Minnesota and Jim Martin can win in the Georgia run off. Both are still very likely. Still, I’d personally rather have the Dems a couple seats shy of that so they’re forced to bring some Republicans across the aisle.
We shall see…