The GOP bloodbath from last Tuesday has finally swept north. Last night Alaska finished counting all of its absentee ballots, and GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan was declared the winner, unseating Demcratic incumbent Mark Begich by around 8,000 votes. This is the GOP’s 8th Senate pickup.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan defeated Sen. Mark Begich, the Democratic incumbent, in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race Wednesday – a win that gives the GOP eight Senate pickups in the midterm elections.
The Republican Party also is seeking a ninth seat in Louisiana’s runoff in December.
Sullivan ran a confident campaign, ignoring the debate schedule Begich established and setting his own terms.
He pledged to fight federal overreach, talked about energy independence and, at seemingly every opportunity, sought to tie Begich to President Barack Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who are unpopular in Alaska.
Begich complained that Sullivan offered little in the way of proposals for what he would do as senator.
On Tuesday, election workers began counting absentee ballots and early indications were Sullivan maintained an 8,100 vote advantage over Begich. It proved to be true later that night.
Mary Landrieu is now the Democrats’ last, best hope for avoiding a complete and utter trouncing at the hands of the Republican Party. But even the DSCC, which pulled all its ad money out of Louisana last week, isn’t counting on Mary Landrieu to be the last, best hope for anything, except maybe cementing the 2014 election cycle as the year that Democrats reaped the karma they earned lambasting Todd Akin. After all, the famous Missouri loser might have had a questionable grasp of gynecology, but at least, unlike Mary Landrieu, he never made attacking an opponent’s volunteer efforts as part of an emergency medical team in the wake of one of America’s most devastating hurricanes, the centerpiece of his runoff strategy.
Begich’s loss is actually a big one for Democrats, not because he was anything special, but because his campaign proved that, even if you ran in opposition to the Obama agenda, you were still given credit for the Obama failures. And Begich was nothing if not clear that he and Obama were as far from being friends as possible. Apparently, he was “unafraid” to stand up to Obama, thought independent and with a bipartisan bent, and was possibly willing to ding-dong-ditch the White House if things really turned. Sadly, he still couldn’t match up to Sullivan.