Independent Alaska pollster Ivan Moore tells the Huffington Post that Sen. Ted Stevens' conviction on seven corruption charges means that "his race is over, categorically. I don't think there's any way he can turn this around."
Moore cautions that pundits and pollsters have called Stevens out before. "Of course I'll say we all said the same thing when he was indicted prior to the primary -- that he was done. Yeah, right. Look how accurate that prediction that was. The truth is, there's no precedent for this kind of stuff."
However, Moore notes that all but one recent poll has shown a lead for Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich in the race against Stevens. "It's fairly safe to surmise that Begich had a small but shrinking lead in this race [before the conviction]," Moore said. "And what you're asking me to believe -- if you suggest that Stevens has still got a shot at winning -- is that this news will help. It won't."
The pollster also said another Alaska politician would be hurt by the Stevens conviction -- Rep. Don Young, who is also under investigation. "This probably does end Young's chances ... since when Ted Stevens was indicted on July 29, people in Alaska were surprised it wasn't Don Young. He had seemed to be more wrapped up in [the VECO corruption probe]."
Calling attention to the fact that Young had spent over $35,000 in legal fees defending himself against the federal probe, Moore said many Alaskans had concluded that "Don was probably more corruptible than Ted. The flip side now is that if Ted is guilty, [people will think] Don Young can't be far behind."
Young's Democratic challenger, Ethan Berkowitz, appears to have a stable, statistically significant lead of around eight points, according to an average of all surveys at Pollster.com.
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