Markos Moulitsas published two new polls on the Alaska Federal elections this morning at his blog, DailyKos. They appear to show impressive leads by Mark Begich over Ted Stevens, and Ethan Berkowitz over Don Young, by likely Alaska voters, when asked the question "If the 2008 election were held today?"
Stevens (R) 43 (41)
Begich (D) 48 (47)
Young (R) 40 (42)
Berkowitz (D) 50 (49)
This is the first poll commissioned by Kos in a hypothetical Stevens-Begich matchup, the second in his similar Young-Berkowitz comparison. I was critical at Progressive Alaska and at DailyKos toward aspects of his first poll's announcement, and the same holds true for this one.
First of all, both polls are good news. Very good news. They show a growing resonance among voters that a big change is needed. More voters are willing to make a commitment in Moulitsas' United 2000 polls here than in any I've seen. For instance, a month and a half ago, Jake Metcalfe commissioned a far more knowledgeable Alaska pollster, Hays Research Group, on a matchup between Jake and Don:
Diane Benson's late 2007 Craciun Group Poll showed the following:
Diane Benson 45.3%
Don Young 36.7%
The most interesting thing that Markos' poll seems to indicate is that 3% more voters will commit to Don Young against him than against Benson or Jake Metcalfe.
The problem I have with the way Moultisas has been spinning this hypothetical scenario out is that it is just that - hypothetical. Way too hypothetical. Most of the voters here on August 26 will be independents. They have to choose which of two tickets is more important for them to punch. Moulitsas' pollster - and most others - haven't put that into their equations so far.
And, he's not being honest with his minions at DailyKos. In all of his posts on the AK-AL US House race, he's neglected to mention that Berkowitz is engaged in a tightening primary contest with the woman who had the balls to challenge Don Young in 2006, when both Jake Metcalfe and Ethan Berkowitz treated her more like a squaw than the dynamic and resilient new political talent she is proving to be.
Not only hasn't Kos mentioned Benson in any of his posts on this race, he's done something I find highly unethical, even for a foulmouthed lefty blogger, like he and me. He has not only contributed directly to Ethan's campaign (he gave $1,000 in the first 2008 quarter), he's hosted and participated in San Francisco Bay- area Berkowitz fundraisers. But, more importantly, as one watches how his posts on this hypothetical Berkowitz-Young matchup get played out in the blogosphere, others contribute to Berkowitz from outside Alaska, believing he's in a race with Young, who people outside tend to think is worthless.
Not only is his distorted, but powerfully broadcast narrative phony, it isn't very progressive. Until today, I thought that maybe Markos was too busy with other races and issues to notice Benson, or her detailed stance on the issues, but I've been told that this is definitely not the case.
On the one hand, there's Berkowitz, blithely (according to Ethan) accepting the largest donations ever given by the most powerful DINO in congress, Rahm Emanuel, to a non-incumbent Democrat, running against another Democrat in a primary. On the other, you have Diane Benson, gaining endorsements from around the state and nation from women's groups, and from very progressive organizations.
At any rate, these polls, like all the others showing our Democrats kicking ass up here, are another reason to be optimistic. And to work hard to get people to vote for Democrats.
the author of this article volunteered for and donated to the 1978 and 1980 campaigns of Rep. Don Young (he was then a Republican), volunteered for and donated to the Alaska Democratic Party when Jake Metcalfe was chairman, has volunteered for and donated to Diane Benson since July, 2006; and has donated to the current Jake Metcalfe and Ethan Berkowitz campaigns.
images of Kos as Bonaparte by townhall.com, after Kos called Sen. Jim Webb a "coward" -- and of Diane Benson in one of her plays