Poll: Young, Stevens Facing Tough Re-election Bids

Two long-serving, ethically-embattled Alaska Republicans are at serious risk of losing their seats, according to a newly-conducted poll from Hays Research Group.

The poll finds that both Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young  are viewed unfavorably by a sizable share of their constituents.

Young appears to be facing the tougher re-election bid. The poll found that the 17-term lawmaker is viewed unfavorably by a 55 percent majority of likely Alaskans. Only 40 percent of respondents said they viewed him favorably.

Young is under investigation by the Justice Department over his ties to oil services giant VECO Corp. and has spent much of his campaign funds on legal fees. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Three Democrats are jockeying to face him next fall, with former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz viewed by the party establishment as the early favorite. Young fended off his first serious challenge in more than a decade last year, beating an underfunded challenger with only 56 percent.

He is also facing GOP state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux in the August 26 primary, who has campaigned as a conservative reformer.

Meanwhile,  Stevens, a stalwart in Alaska politics for the last four decades, faces his own re-election problems. The poll showed only 49 percent of voters viewing him favorably -- a slight uptick from previous polling -- and 46 percent viewing him unfavorably.
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