Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens maintained his lead over challenger Mark Begich this
morning with 99 percent of the precincts counted, just a week after being found
guilty of seven felonies and pre-election polls showing him in deep trouble.
You're running to unseat a sitting, out-of-touch (albeit popular) Senator. You're running a spirited campaign, and aren't too far behind when WHAM! The feds indict Stevens! Hot golly, we got ourselves a race! Then you're running neck in neck, because Stevens doesn't tank for the same reason that Daley's re-election poll numbers wouldn't be affected by a corruption allegation. "Richard Daley? Corrupt?! Noooo...."
Then WHAM! the jury convicts Stevens on seven felony counts. Nevermind the prosecutorial misconduct--by Republicans against Republicans, no less! Maybe Alaskan voters realized that a gas grill=one felony count; used couch=two felony counts...etc. And honestly, I think the most politically damaging thing Stevens said at his trial was, "But...I only go to my Alaska house for about two weeks a year if even that!"
Keep in mind, Sarah Palin is popular and all that, and the state is right-leaning. But Don Young, the GOP Congressman from Alaska, is also under investigation, and sailed to reelection.
But come on... even if Begich wins this on a recount, don't you have to be a tad bit embarassed that you can't beat the guy who just got convicted of "seven federal crimes"?