Republicans Close Gap in Alaska Races

The gap has closed between embattled Republican incumbents and their Democratic challengers in Alaska, a new poll in the state shows.

Sen. Ted Stevens (R), whose trial on corruption-related charges started in Washington this week, trails Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by two points, within the poll's 4.4 percent margin of error. Begich garners 48 percent of voters' support while Stevens gets 46 percent in an Ivan Moore Research poll conducted September 20-22. Begich lost one percentage point in support since Ivan Moore polled the race earlier this month; Stevens stayed steady in the poll.

Rep. Don Young (R) made up significant ground in the same poll against Democratic foe Ethan Berkowitz, who led Young by 17 points earlier this month. Berkowitz drew 49 percent in the Ivan Moore poll, while Young managed 44 percent. Until the middle of September, Young was locked in a protracted Republican primary battle against Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who came within several hundred votes of defeating Young.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin declined to say whether or not she would endorse Stevens in his reelection bid during a short question-and-answer moment with reporters this morning. "Ted Stevens's trial started a couple of days ago," Palin said. "We'll see where that goes."

-Michael O'Brien