They’re still counting a few ballots in Alaska, but Democrat Mark Begich’s lead is now bigger than the number remaining to be counted so he is now being declared the winner by the big media.
Thus ends the 40-year Senate career of Ted Stevens, the longest-tenured Republican senator ever, who would almost surely have won another term if he hadn’t just been convicted of felonies for failing to report expensive gifts and home improvements from friends of his who also have big interests before Congress. Stevens is appealing his convictions and, at this writing, hasn’t conceded the election yet either.
By coincidence, today is Stevens’ 85th birthday. This led to a snotty L.A. Times blogpost headlined: “Happy Birthday, Senator Ted Stevens. You lose.”
As I mentioned recently, Sen.-elect Begich has Minnesota roots.
Assuming this result holds up, it puts the overall in the Senate at 40 Repubs, 56 full-blooded Dems, two independents (Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders) who caucus with the Dems, and two outcomes unknown in Georgia (facing a Dec. 2 runoff) and Minnesota (let’s assume you know about that one). So, if Lieberman stays in the caucus and the Dems win the two outstanding races (all big ifs), the Dems still have a chance to reach the 60-seat filibuster-proof majority.