After Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was indicted on seven felony counts, we moved our rating from "Lean Republican" to "Tossup", and stated that we'd have to wait for more information before we could push this race further along the chart.
Not all of the dust has settled yet, but we feel comfortable enough in moving our rating of this race from "Tossup" to "Lean Democratic". Even in a vacuum, Anchorage Mayor and Democrat Mark Begich would be a very strong candidate for statewide office in Alaska, but Begich is not running in any ordinary environment; he's up against an indicted Senator whose numbers are circling the drain in the two most recentpolls.
Since Stevens' primary challengers -- all five of them -- are a feeble (if wealthy) bunch, we have to consider a primary loss or a resignation timed to allow the Alaska GOP to name a replacement to be unlikely scenarios. Stevens is a stubborn man, and he appears determined to hold out until November -- a scenario that would be a big plus for Begich.
There's still plenty of time for the situation to change (and change again), but for now, SSP is rating this race as Lean Democratic.