Speed Reads

career change

Alaska's lone congressman may lose the seat he's held since 1973

Alaska may soon have a new representative for the first time in 45 years.

The state's lone congressman, Rep. Don Young (R), is the longest-serving member of Congress. He's the House Dean and has won all of his elections since 1973. But this year, poll after poll show Young's lead slipping to his independent challenger, Alyse Galvin — and the latest numbers actually put Galvin in the lead.

The most recent Alaska House poll, conducted by Ivan Moore Research from Oct. 26-29, gives Galvin a lead of one point. It didn't report a margin of error. The same pollster put Young ahead by two points in an Oct. 12-14 survey, with a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

In the newer poll, a larger percentage of people (49 percent) said they would vote for Galvin than actually gave her a positive approval rating (44 percent). That may have something to do with Galvin being Young's first independent challenger running with a Democratic endorsement, Cook Political Report suggests — or that 22 percent of those surveyed said they didn't know who she was. Galvin also raised $643,000 in the third quarter to Young's $236,000, prompting Cook to move the race from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican" last week.

Still, Alaska Public Media offers a caveat. Several polls in 2008 and one in 2014 showed a Democrat would prevail, but Young still won by five points. FiveThirtyEight gives Young a two in three chance of holding onto his well-worn House seat.