7/30/08; 500 LV, 4.5%
McCain 48, Obama 42 (7/17: McCain 49, Obama 44)
Begich (D) 50, Stevens (R-i) 37 (7/17: Begich 52, Stevens 44)
Begich 50, Cuddy (R) 35
Begich 55, Vickers (R) 22
Stevens is done :-) Welcome to the new Democratic Sen. from the great state of Alaska, Mr. Begich!!
Posted on July 31, 2008 12:24 PM
This is awesome. A Democratic Senator from Alaska??
...Ironically, while Alaska is a so-called "red state", a quick wikipedia search reveals that, of its 6 total Senators ever (it's a young state!), 3 were Democrats, 3 were Republicans. If Mark Begich wins, he will tip that even divide...I love political history :)
The question is: does this give Obama a bigger opening? Will he go "all in" and make a serious play for the state? With both the Senate seat and House seat looking to be likely Dem turnovers, this could be a very blue year for Alaska...
Posted on July 31, 2008 12:40 PM
Begich is mayor of Anchorage (5 years to date) and was born there. His father was Alaska's third congressman, Nick Begich, whose airplane disappeared in the Gulf of Alaska during his 1972 re-election bid.
Begich is NOT a typical liberal Democrat... (from his website) because he will "Work across party lines to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to responsible oil and gas development including the pursuit of directional drilling through the adjacent Sourdough discovery well."
Makes sense since Alaska is a major "energy producer" and that means jobs.
Posted on July 31, 2008 12:47 PM
Exactly, reverse coattails! Cool!
Posted on July 31, 2008 1:02 PM
You make a good point about ANWR, but on the rest of the issues (education, Iraq, energy/environment except ANWR, taxes), Begich appears to be a good liberal Democrat. Heck, he even has an op-ed in HuffPo!
Still, when he talks about renewable energy targets, I gotta think he realizes ANWR is not a long-term answer. Good for him!
Posted on July 31, 2008 1:14 PM
Yet, Obama's energy plan does not align with that of Begich or Alaska's economic interests... and McCain's plan does (more domestic drilling) albeit McCain is against drilling in ANWR.
Posted on July 31, 2008 1:15 PM
Maybe you are not familiar with McCain's plan.. He includes renewable resources as well as climate change initiatives... which are not new ideas but one's he has held for quite some time. Notably, Obama pushes corn ethanol and McCain is absolutely against subsidies for that industry. Corn ethanol is not a product of Alaska... but oil is.
Posted on July 31, 2008 1:19 PM
undecided - do you even know obama's energy policy?
He isn't against offshore drilling. He is against new leases for it. Oil companies have thousands of leases for drilling that they haven't even used.
The bigger point that you keep missing is:
OFFSHORE DRILLING WONT HELP WITH GAS PRICES!!
It is a joke of a political wedge designed to fool ignorant Americans into voting for republicans like gay-marriage did in '04.
Go ask a halfway decent economist what offshore drilling will do.
The only beneficiaries will be oil companies and oil men like Bush and Cheney. Of course, when the oil lobby owns you outright, you have to pay them back right??
Just wait for the commercials to come out showing black beaches with kids playing on it - maybe then people will get the message....or not.
Posted on July 31, 2008 1:25 PM
Have you read Obama's energy/environment plan? Here's what the energy plan says about ethanol:
"Corn ethanol is the most successful alternative fuel commercially available
in the U.S. today, and we should fight the efforts of big oil and big agri-business to undermine this emerging industry. But it represents only a drop in the bucket of our energy demands and making ethanol from corn has some significant limitations. Today we produce about 5 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol per year while we use about 140 billion gallons of gasoline. Even if we are able to double – or even triple – production of ethanol from corn this will still
offset only about 10 percent of our gasoline demand. There are also real concerns about
bringing set aside lands into corn production as well as concerns about an increase in the use of pesticides, water use and upward pressure on the cost of food for people and livestock alike."
Obama's plan actually pushes cellulosic ethanol... And to the point: Begich's and Obama's energy/environment plans are not mutually incompatible. Obama aims to target a reduction in oil consumption by 35% by 2030 - so oil from Alaska will still be in the mix (I think it's safe to assume this reduction will be in imported oil.)
Furthermore - Obama's Party actually backs his plans. As for McCain... As an example, Bush was actually in favor of immigration reform (something I actually admire him for), unlike most of the GOP, and look how that turned out.
Posted on July 31, 2008 4:24 PM
Obama (and Durbin) voted for the Bush/Cheney energy bill in 2005 because of goodies for both the corn ethanol and nuclear energy in Illinois. Also Obama was pretty straightforward on his support for corn ethanol in several speeches in Iowa. Some of his largest donors are associated with the agri-corp/corn ethanol industry as well as the nuclear industry (e.g. Excelon).
McCain voted against the Bush/Cheney energy bill because of the goodies for corn ethanol and big oil.
So, yes... I know what Obama's stance on these issues are. I pay very close attention to energy issues. Obama does a heck of a lot of parsing and nuancing... (e.g. his recent position on nuclear energy) which makes poor campaign rhetoric. Reminds me of Kerry. (Note: I voted for Kerry.)
And you missed the point about Alaska being "domestic oil- friendly," which is in McCain's plan. What I am saying is that Obama has no advantage over McCain in Alaska in the context of energy policy... and energy is Alaska's primary economic focus.
Posted on July 31, 2008 5:22 PM
You said "Obama pushes corn ethanol" - pointing out that corn ethanol has problems, and the way forward is cellulosic ethanol, is hardly "pushing." You may be paying attention to energy issues, but it sure ain't "very close".
As you point out, McCain is also against drilling in ANWR, so McCain doesn't have an advantage over Obama either (unlike Begich). And McCain being against subsidies for corn ethanol - how does that play in Alaska, exactly?
And by the way, I did say that the oil savings would likely come out of imported oil - not domestic. So Alaska will keep earning revenues as at present... Still a tie between McCain and Obama.
Posted on July 31, 2008 7:06 PM
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