Anchorage mayor Mark Begich will announce he's taking on Ted "Tubes" Stevens for his state's U.S. Senate seat at 11:30 a.m. PT.
I polled this race back in early December:
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 12/3-6. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)
If 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Mark Begich, the Democrat, and Ted Stevens, the Republican?
Stevens (R) 41
Begich (D) 47
Even more surprisingly, instead of spinning these results away, Stevens' pollster actually confirmed the results not once, but twice.
Local pollsters are not surprised by the numbers. Dave Dittman, who's firm Dittman Research is polling for Stevens, said the publicity on corruption investigations is hurting the Republicans.
"It's interesting and it's early but I wasn't shocked," Dittman said. "Both Congressman Young and Sen. Stevens have been under attack (or) at least the subject of a lot of negative information and news stories and things for almost two years. I would think it's got to have an effect."
"He's more vulnerable than he has been before," conceded Anchorage pollster and political consultant Dave Dittman, who is working for the Stevens campaign.
This is immediately a top-tier Senate race.