An alaska blue wave unlikely – but dont let that stop you columnists arkansas gas association


His ablution of Democratic Party gains made over the past year is an attempt to mitigate any Republican losses, seen as a referendum on his administration (read: him). But history, while it does not repeat, certainly echoes. Since the Civil War, the party that occupies the White House tends to lose 90 percent of the time. For Trump, this is compounded by new polling showing his approval rating down to 36 percent. That generally equates to around 30-plus seats in congress changing hands.

Alaskans who either started sour on the president or have landed there are hedging bets on a northerly “blue wave” sweeping Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Gov. Bill Walker (I-Alaska), and legislative GOP incumbents out of office. But in Alaska – where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by over 37,000 votes — Young beat Democratic challenger Steve Lindbeck by 44,000 votes, a three-way gubernatorial race offers former State Senator Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) a weighted advantage, and the legislature remains overwhelmingly Republican – aspirations for a paradigm shift appear lofty at best.

Begich, who just several gas 87 years ago was maligned by much of the left as a “Blue Dog” Democrat, is running with the same full-throated support of the Democratic Party that Walker received in 2014 – just enough to squeak him by then-Gov. Sean Parnell (R-Alaska) by 6,223 votes. The former U.S. Senator has been working overtime to shore up the electorate’s 13 percent registered Democrats. Given his long-shot candidacy, he has adopted a mantra of “voting your values, not your fears.” The bumper sticker slogan hearkens back to the historic 2010 U.S. Senate contest, where many Democrats abandoned their nominee, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, and successfully sent write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to a third full term. The more left-of-center one is, the more stubbornly lodged that bitter pill remains in one’s throat. Murkowski now represents the vote that could send Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Begich represents a probable split vote putting Dunleavy in charge of the next round of redistricting. (I’m not discounting a Begich win; it’s just unlikely. Very unlikely. But, weirder things happen regularly.)

A lot of focus this year is being put in the state legislature as a result. The rationale is logically sound: Swing the U.S. Congress to put a check on the president. Swing the Alaska State Legislature to put a check on Dunleavy. It’s fun to say it’s possible, if not probable, in an election year built for Democratic encroachment. But, the electricity and magnetism connect to form latter is simply not in the cards.

2018 is being touted not only as a “blue wave,” but the “year of the woman.” Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) half-jokingly coined it an “Ovarian Wave.” Many first-time, women candidates are successfully offing tenured primary opponents. The Virginia House of Delegates, as the most notable and beyond-the-primaries example, went from a 66-34 GOP majority to a tiny 51-49 majority last year, bolstered by female newcomers.

The gender makeup of Alaska’s state legislature is weird on its own. Here’s the good news for Democrats and pro-woman-in-general politicos: 31.7 percent of state legislators in Juneau are women. This is still wildly under-representative – there are 107 men for every 100 women in state – but well above the national average of 25.4 percent. But where there are more women in elected office, there are generally more Democrats. This does not hold true here. Five of the six women elected to the state senate are Republicans alongside nine of the 13 in the House. Only eight percent currently serving are electricity physics definition Democratic women. That puts us in a small category with Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Forty-nine first-time candidates are applying for a job in Juneau this year , and o f them, 17 are women. They are vying for 50 of the 60 seats in the two chambers. In the senate, Republicans enjoy a 15-5 supermajority. Senators Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River), Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage), and Denis Egan (D-Juneau) are retiring. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) is running as Dunleavy’s lieutenant governor. Senators Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks), Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Mike Shower (R-Wasilla), Mia Costello (R-Anchorage), Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), and Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel) are up for reelection. Former Anchorage Assembly Chair Elvi Gray-Jackson is running for Gardner’s seat and all but has it on lock. Juneau Assembly person Jesse Kiehl is replacing Egan and is running unopposed. That’s where the math falls apart for the left.

Senate President Pete Kelly fended off Democratic challenger Tama Kruse Roselius in 2016 by more than 20 points. In 2012, he ousted Sen. Joe Paskvan (D-Fairbanks) by almost nine. This year, he faces Scott Kawasaki, who has served in the Alaska State House since 2007. Kawasaki brings name recognition. But, so did Paskvan. He now has twice as many doors to knock on while competing against Kelly’s campaign coffers, totaling nearly $100,000 compared to the representative’s $85,000. And this is one of the more competitive races.

New candidates may have the wind at their backs and the song in their hearts, but they electricity wikipedia in hindi face an uphill and underfunded battle in heavily conservative districts far too inland to worry about any waves, blue or otherwise. Susan Kay, challenging Bishop, enters a race the incumbent won by nearly 30 points in 2014. Janice Park, challenging Costello, faces a 13-point deficit from the same year. The house is a similarly difficult sell. Eileen Patterson, challenging Rep. DeLena Johnson (R-Palmer); Stephany Jeffers, challenging Rep. Cathy Tilton (R-Wasilla); and Amber Lee, challenging Rep. Jennifer Johnston (R-Anchorage) face an average gap of about 29 points benefiting the incumbent in the last election. Democrat Shawn Butler hopes to succeed over Republican Benjamin Carpenter to replace former S peaker Mike Chenault in heavy-red Nikiski in a race where Chenault ran hardly opposed. In the primary, 2,732 voters chose the Republican primary ballot in a contentious race between Carpenter and Wayne Ogle, whereas only 670 filled the little bubble by Butler’s name. Meanwhile, women might actually gain some ground for the GOP. Sarah Rasmussen is a much stronger candidate against Rep. Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage) than Liz Vazquez, whom he offed two years ago and who Rasmussen defeated last month. Connie Dougherty is a newcomer who hopes to paint the seat held by House Majority Leader Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) red and has a decent shot.

Liz Snyder, running against Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage) and Lyn Franks, running against Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux have the best chances at Democratic pickups. Snyder has a strong ground game and Pruitt’s stock has plummeted since his time as Majority Leader and possible successor to Don Young. Pruitt, however, has four times the campaign cash on hand as Snyder heading into the general, and j gastroenterol hepatol impact factor he loves negative advertising. LeDoux, who is a prolific fundraiser and was able to leverage her position in the House to attain the all-powerful Rules committee chair assignment, sent the Alaska GOP through the roof for caucusing with the Democrat-led majority. She almost lost in the primary to Aaron Weaver, an unknown former-KTUU photographer who did not campaign, and now faces both Franks and a Republican Party-backed write-in challenger, Jake Sloan. The possible split thrusts Franks into a very winnable race.

If the dust ever settles, the lesson learned in the year of the woman won’t be in election day results. Neither the Alaska State House or Senate will flip. If Sloan wins, the crumbling, scotch-taped-together Jenga tower that is the House Majority Coalition could crumble. Hell, if someone breathes wrong between now and the sound of the gavel (and well after), it could crumble. But the funereal malaise that may inspire isn’t warranted. I don’t offer probabilities as if to say, “Give up.” I say it so that hopefully you can prove me wrong. And, even if you don’t, there’s something to be said about how many people have come out of the woodwork; to try, run, support, advocate, volunteer, and pay attention. That alone is a propitious investment that hopefully won’t isolate itself to one campaign cycle.

“ The silver lining of the Trump administration is this renewal of civil engagement and renewal of democracy,” Joe gas jet compressor Dinkin, communications director for the Working Families Party told The Atlantic’s David Graham last month. “What we’re seeing is a whole new generation of leaders who come out of community organizations or social movements or out of progressive groups stepping up and running for office.”