From Wednesday’s New York Times column on the race, making a case that Dan Sullivan’s victory last night doesn’t spell doom for Sen. Mark Begich’s reelection chances and why the state is more sympathetic to Democrats than it would appear:
Alaska’s electoral politics are among the worst understood in the country: The state has had only a handful of competitive federal contests over 54 years since 1960, and there are no neighboring states from which to draw comparisons. The state has defied the expectations of electoral analysts since it was admitted as a state in 1959, when most thought it would become dependably Democratic. It then proceeded to vote Republican in 1960 in the presidential race, and in every other such contest since Johnson’s landslide re-election in 1964.
A reader sent me the following, making the case the the piece actually does the opposite of what it intended to do:
It is never a good sign for an incumbent when previously supportive national media outlets can only muster a weak “he can still win!” rallying cry instead of a confident, “he’s got this in the bag, baby!” once Sullivan became the official contender. Nate Cohn of the NYT eagerly attempted to spin Sullivan’s win last night as “no big thang” because Alaska is too difficult to predict. His skewed analysis on Alaska’s federal election history tried to buffer his argument to show that Republicans have only won their seats due to luck and not by the support of the people. This is all bad for Begich, (even after Cohn painted Begich with the “scion of a state political dynasty” brush) because while most Alaskans don’t get their pulse of state politics from the NYT, Outside limousine liberals do and when deciding to whom to write those lovely large checks…articles like this matter.