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Begich: Dems Can Win in Alaska, You Betcha'!

9:23 AM, Sep 7, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Freshman Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who beat Ted Stevens in 2008, says the national party shouldn't be counting out Lisa Murkowski's seat in his home state. They just need a little faith:

When Begich jumped into the race to unseat a longtime senator in 2008, the line from national Democrats was, "Alaska? Good luck with that," Begich told TPM in an interview. In fact, all signs pointed to him losing on election night two years ago. "The establishment always says it's a state that can't be won, and when I lost election night we were written off," Begich said. But after all the votes were counted, Begich was the next senator from Alaska.

"People always underestimate Alaska," Begich said.

Begich beat Stevens a week after the incumbent had been convicted on seven felony counts for falsely reporting gifts, in a great year for Democrats. So, faith and seven felony counts for Joe Miller is what they need. But mostly faith.

But first, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse is probably going to have to learn Democratic candidate Scott McAdams' name:

The DNC's Brad Woodhouse jumped on Heye immediately, "If Republicans are going to say whatever they need to do to win, I think we might be in better shape than people think." But when Woodhouse was asked to name the Democratic Senate candidate in Alaska, which is a strong Republican hold, he was at a loss. Eventually he responded, "Well, our candidate in Alaska...his name is not Lisa Murkowski." (Woodhouse fields the question at about 6 minutes in.).

Not Lisa Murkowski: The Name You Know Can Trust (This ad paid for by the Democratic National Committee.)

The latest polls show Miller ahead of McAdams by a 6-8 point margin.

In other senate news, a poll came out over the weekend showing the Tea Party candidate formerly known as unelectable...up 15 points in Kentucky. (Caveats, here.) And, as the Washington Post notes today, Wisconsin is now a battleground, which should keep the DNC's minds and money far away from Alaska.

Lest, I speak too soon, however, Murkowski still seems to be talking to Libertarians in Alaska about a third-party run.

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