THE FALLOUT UP NORTH...Now that Palin's on the McCain ticket, the already interesting-bordering-on-absurd House and Senate races in Alaska are going to become more so. This year, the seats belonging to Rep. Don Young (who's been in office for 35 years) and Sen. Ted Stevens (40) are in play for Democrats for the first time in decades. Young and his primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, are currently awaiting a ballot recount in the narrowly contested Republican primary--if Young wins, he stands a better chance than Parnell of losing to the Democratic challenger, Ethan Berkowitz. Stevens, meanwhile, is trailing his Democratic challenger Mark Begich, and is due in federal court in late September on corruption charges.
Palin's VP nod makes all of this even more interesting. There was talk of her taking Stevens's place on the Republican ticket in the general election if Stevens is found guilty, and it's probable she would have beaten Begich--so this is good news for Democrats in the Senate. Parnell, meanwhile, would presumably take over as governor if McCain/Palin wins.