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Earlier today, it was stated on the front page that since many of the most pro-Democratic precincts were not having their absentee/early votes counted today, the goal was NOT to have Begich take the lead in today's counting, but rather for him to cut heavily into Ted Stevens' lead.

Mission accomplished.

As of right now, Ted Stevens enjoys only a lead of 971 votes over Mark Begich, after partial counting of absentee ballots and early ballots today in Alaska.

Worth noting--not all of the approximately 50,000 votes to be counted today have actually been tabulated. A little back of the envelope math tells me that only about half of them have been counted.

Here are the updated numbers:

US SENATOR  
 Total
Number of Precincts  438  
Precincts Reporting  438 100.0 %
Times Counted  252549/495731 50.9 %
Total Votes  249692  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Begich, Mark DEM 117631 47.11%
Bird, Bob AI 10117 4.05%
Gianoutsos, Ted NA 950 0.38%
Haase, Fredrick D. LIB 1766 0.71%
Stevens, Ted REP 118602 47.50%
Write-in Votes  626 0.25%

If there is any somewhat mournful news, it is now much less likely that Ethan Berkowitz will find the votes to dispatch Don Young. The margin was also cut by 2000 votes, but Young started with a much healthier margin. Young still leads by 15,000 votes, roughly. That means that Berkowitz will need to carry the remaining vote by about a 61-39 margin. By comparison, Begich needs only a 50.7-49.3 margin.

UPDATE!
A quick look at the Alaska state House district vote totals leads me to believe that some of the most GOP-friendly districts have already been counted.

The four districts in the Mat-Su area (Sarah Palin territory) have the highest vote totals already recorded. These are HD 13-16, for those who care. They all have more than 9000 votes counted. No other district is close. This leads me to conclude (perhaps erroneously, I admit) that they have already been counted today.

If so, it is absolutely HUGE news for Begich.

NEW UPDATE
Begich now leads by...wait for it...three votes, with an additional 15,000 votes tallied up!!

US SENATOR  
 Total
Number of Precincts  438  
Precincts Reporting  438 100.0 %
Times Counted  267941/495731 54.0 %
Total Votes  264655  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Begich, Mark DEM 125019 47.24%
Bird, Bob AI 10913 4.12%
Gianoutsos, Ted NA 1076 0.41%
Haase, Fredrick D. LIB 1961 0.74%
Stevens, Ted REP 125016 47.24%
Write-in Votes  670 0.25%

Originally posted to Steve Singiser on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:18 PM PST.

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