A Washington D.C. nonprofit teamed up with pollster Celinda Lake, who is also Sen. Mark Begich’s pollster, to study voter behavior in Alaska. A report released Monday suggests that Alaska’s unmarried women, people of color and voters aged 18-29 could determine who wins the U.S. Senate race in Alaska. However, these voters are less likely than others to vote, and it’s going to take work to get them to the polls in November.
According to the Voter Participation Center, about 23,000 of these voters could stay home this election year, as compared to 2012. The total voting block, combined with other Alaskans who are likely to stay home, could be as many as 25,000 votes in the 2014 election. Given Alaska’s history of close elections, this could easily be the voting block that could decide the race.
According to the Washington Post, the national Democrats are paying particular close attention to unmarried women who are eligible to vote, a pool that’s increased by 19 percent since 2000. By contrast, the pool of married women only grew 7 percent during that time. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is building a national computer model to find and hopefully sway single women.
Neither the Alaska Democratic Party nor the Begich campaign knew about a similar effort by any Democratic group in Alaska. However, Begich has been busy reaching out to both women and minority voters in the state.
“Women for Begich” groups across the state have been meeting. Begich is the only pro-choice candidate running for Senate. The three Republican challengers, Dan Sullivan, Mead Treadwell, and Joe Miller have all claimed the pro-life mantle. And all three of them have said at one time or the other that the abortion issue would factor into a decision to confirm a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Too, in a radio interview with conservative talk show host Glen Biegel, Sullivan appears to support allowing corporations to decide if they will provide contraceptives as part of their health care policies, characterizing a mandate to do so under the Affordable Care Act as an “attack on religious liberty.” That mandate is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court.
Begich has also been reaching out to minority groups in Alaska. Last weekend alone, he met with groups from the Chinese, Hmong, Hispanic, Filipino, Korean, Polynesian, and Cambodian communities.
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