Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Alaska Voters Give Their Blessing To Mitt Romney And Don Young; Republicans Regain State Senate Majority

Alaska 2012 election returns are beginning to filter out, and are posted on the Alaska Division of Elections website. The info is also being released in PDF format, and the Anchorage Daily News also has a link. It appears that Mitt Romney is the voters' choice for President, Don Young is going back to the U.S. House for his 21st term, and it is reasonable to project that the 10-10 tie in the Alaska State Senate has been broken and that the Republicans have regained control of that body.

-- Mitt Romney defeated Barack Obama by 13.4 percentage points, earning the state's three electoral votes. Unfortunately, that won't help Romney, since he already conceded to Obama. Interestingly, James Buchanan found out that by comparing an election map with a map of states requiring voter ID, Obama lost in every state with a photo ID law in effect. A list of closely contested state elections with no voter ID, which narrowly went to Obama included: Minnesota (10), Iowa (6), Wisconsin (10), Nevada (6), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5) and Pennsylvania (20). This amounted to a total of 66 electoral votes. When added to Romney’s total of 205 electoral votes, that would have given him 271 electoral votes even without Ohio or Florida. Nevertheless, unlike Al Gore in 2000, Mitt Romney decided to be gracious and concede. Read the text of Romney's concession speech HERE.

-- Congressman Don Young cruised to a 26 point victory over Democrat Sharon Cissna. Alaska Dispatch reports that Young said that he was happy about the outcome of the U.S. House races, which resulted in a few more Republican seats. “We’re doing something right, even though the country voted for a Socialist,” he said.

-- The Republicans have clinched the State Senate Majority; twelve Republicans can be considered safely elected at this point. The number could increase to thirteen if Bob Bell of Anchorage can pull out a victory over Hollis French. But if the Republicans get outright control of the Senate, it won't matter if French gets re-elected, because he will no longer chair the Judiciary Committee. French will be toothless. Senate races of interest described below:

-- Senate District B: Republican Pete Kelly defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Paskvan by 5.8 percentage points.

-- Senate District J: This was a see-saw battle during which the lead changed hands several times. But with all votes now counted, Hollis French defeated Bob Bell by two percentage points. A recount cannot be ruled out.

-- Senate District M: Anna Fairclough laid the smack down on the troglodytic Bettye Davis. Good riddance -- Davis should have been sent to the La Brea Tar Pits with the rest of the dinosaurs four years ago.

-- Senate District N: Cathy Giessel defeated challenger Ron Devon by 14 percentage points. Devon ran a good campaign, but Giessel has more credibility.

-- Senate District G: Bill Wielechowski defeated Bob Roses by 18.5 percentage points. This doesn't surprise me; Wielechowski never really showed any vulnerability.

-- Senate District Q: With all votes counted, Bert Stedman has this one bagged and tagged with a 28.5-point lead over Al Kookesh. Kookesh is another dinosaur who needed to be retired.

-- House District 15: With all ballots counted, Andy Josephson defeated Dick Traini by 16.5 percentage points. This is a big surprise. Can't blame this one on Judge Morse, Dick. Traini will remain on the Anchorage Assembly.

-- House District 16: With all ballots counted, Harriet Drummond defeated Jimmy Crawford by 16.5 percentage points. Her Anchorage Assembly seat becomes vacant as a result.

-- House District 33: With 90 percent of the vote counted, Peggy Wilson can be considered a lock with 60 percent. Kyle Johansen has just eight percent at this point.

The Anchorage Daily News has published a story on these and other legislative races. Alaska Dispatch has also published a story, and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner provides more perspective on the Fairbanks races.

-- Bonding Proposition A: This controversial $453 million transportation bond passed with 56.57 percent voting Yes. Looks like it dodged the "Port" bullet.

-- Ballot Measure One: There'll be no constitutional convention this time around; this measure earned a 68.07 percent No vote.

The Judges: All judges on the ballot have been retained. Judge Sen Tan has the lowest approval vote so far with only 53.6 percent, which reflects the influence of the Alaska Family Council's campaign against his retention. Judge William Morse has a 62.7 percent Yes vote, which means that most voters looked upon his erroneous Dick Traini decision in 2008 as a fluke.

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