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Stevens, Begich: Who wins in Alaska?

Why both sides remain hopeful as the lead in Alaska's Senate race changes hands

There has been a "remarkable turn of events" in Alaska, said Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post online. Democrat Mark Begich has surged into the lead against Republican senator and convicted felon Ted Stevens. Wednesday morning, Begich was down by 3,200 votes, but after more than half of the 90,000 uncounted ballots were tallied, Begich had pulled ahead.

By Wednesday evening, Begich was ahead 132,196 votes to 131,382, a spread of 814 votes, said Sean Quinn in the election-projection site FiveThirtyEight, and more votes will be counted on Thursday and Friday. Since "the remaining votes come from Begich-friendly districts," the Democrat is "now an overwhelming favorite to win the Alaska Senate seat."

There are still tens of thousands of ballots to be counted, said Reid Wilson in RealClearPolitics, so "neither Stevens nor Begich should pack their bags for Washington" just yet. But the tightening of this race—one of three Senate races remaining undecided—certainly heightens the tension in Washington, because Democrats will get their philibuster-proof majority of 60 in the Senate if they win all three.

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