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Stevens’ Collateral Damage

Did Don Young's Re-election Chances Just Take a Fatal Hit?

If there’s one person who’s likely to lose his job as a result of the indictment of Ted Stevens, it’s Congressman Don Young (R-AK). Young is under investigation by the FBI over his ties to Veco, as Stevens is. It would be no surprise at all if Young is indicted, too. And while Stevens is blessed to face a slew of challengers in the primary — who are likely to divide the vote against him — Young faces just one primary challenger: Sarah Palin’s Lieutenant Governor, Sean Parnell.If Parnell and Palin represent the young reformers of the Alaska GOP, then Stevens, Young, and former Governor Frank Murkowski represent the old guard. In the wake of the Stevens indictment, will Alaska Republicans be eager to back Young, knowing that they could be nominating two scandal-tainted Republicans? Since both Stevens and Young are facing credible Democratic challengers for the first time in decades, Democrats could capture both seats this year. That’s likely to be a powerful argument for Parnell.

Parnell is already ahead of Young in the latest poll:

The Hays Research poll questioned 175 likely voters who identified themselves as Republicans about Parnell and Young.Parnell led Young, 46 percent to 42 percent. The poll, taken July 24-25, had a margin of error of 7.4 points.In a broader poll of 404 adults who were queried about the general election, the likely Democratic nominee, former state House Majority Leader Ethan Berkowitz, led Parnell 33 percent to 30 percent. But 37 percent of those surveyed in the poll, which had a 4.9-point error margin, were undecided.The poll also showed Young with a favorable rating of 41 percent and unfavorable rating of 55 percent.

His candidacy just got a big boost.

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