Martin and Begich update: the Lazarus edition

Carla Axtman

Update: 7:15PM: Jeff Merkley is the first Senator-Elect to use his list to fundraise for Jim Martin.

On election night, many thought that the filibuster-proof Democratic majority was dead. But it would seem we've got our own special Lazarus-thing going on in Georgia and Alaska. The reports of the 60 vote majority being dead are apparently greatly exaggerated.

The Georgia race between Democrat Jim Martin and Saxby Chambliss (R-still a douchebag) continues to steamroll toward its December 2 runoff. Chambliss' latest in a long line of idiotic chatter stems from a radio interview conducted yesterday. Chambliss told WGAU in Athens that we can "trust" the "folks in the financial community" with the big pile of bailout cash.

Cuz they did such a great job in the first place, right Saxby? Jeez.

The Alaska race between Democrat Mark Begich and Ted Stevens (R-still a convicted felon) is getting bluer by the day. The Anchorage Daily News reports that the vote tally now favors Begich:

More than half the absentee and questioned ballots still to be counted in Alaska's U.S. Senate race come from areas of the state that backed Democrat Mark Begich on Election Day.

That's not a good sign for Republican Sen. Ted Stevens as he seeks to overcome Begich's 814-vote lead when counting resumes today of just over 41,000 remaining ballots. A Daily News analysis, based on data provided by the state Division of Elections, shows that 56 percent of those ballots come from districts that favored Begich on Nov. 4.

This turn of events appears to even have Stevens' pollster on the ropes:

Alaska-based GOP pollster David Dittman, who worked for Sen. Ted Stevens during this year's primary race, believes Democratic challenger Mark Begich is all but certain to expand his current razor-thin lead and snatch the seat.

"I don't think Stevens can come back," Dittman said, noting that he thinks the remaining trove of uncounted ballots will help Begich "increase his lead."

Dittman also said that he doesn't believe Stevens will concede until every last vote is counted, even if Begich's lead continues to grow.

  • backbeat (unverified)

    They just posted more results in Alaska. Begich now up by 1061 votes

  • (Show?)

    Anyone know if alaska has an automatic recount or runoff if the split is below a certain percentage?

  • (Show?)

    Pete F:

    As I understand it, an automatic recount is triggered when there is .5% margin between the two candidates.

  • (Show?)

    Okay, I'm not quite right about what I said in the comment above. Here's what the AP says:

    Should the Senate results remain close a recount is possible. In Alaska, the losing candidate or a collection of 10 voters has three days to petition for a recount unless the vote was a tie, in which case it would be automatic.

    If the difference between the candidates is within 0.5 percent of the total votes cast, the state pays for the recount, to be started within three days of the recount petition. The state Elections Division has 10 days to complete the recount.

  • Don (unverified)

    He increased his margin in red areas of the state. Begich looks good to go...

  • Angelina Maben (unverified)

    Pete F:

    As I understand it, an automatic recount is triggered when there is .5% margin between the two candidates.

    I am agree with you.

  • fbear (unverified)

    Though it's probably a good sign that 56% of the ballots come from areas that favored Begich, it's not a slam dunk.

    Let's say that in those 56%, Begich won by 55% to 45%. But let's say that in the other 44% Stevens won by 75% to 25%.

    With that scenario, and the remaining votes continued the same pattern, Stevens would get 58 out of every 100 remaining votes counted.

    Without knowing the margins in the various areas, the statistic the votes coming from 56% of areas favoring Begich isn't very meaningful.

  • Neil Sinhababu (unverified)
    <h2>Hey Carla! Thanks for linking my Saxby Chambliss site. Congratulations to Merkley, by the way.</h2>

connect with blueoregon