5.27.2008

AK-House GOP primary polling: Rep. Young vulnerable

Despite Rep. Don Young having 24 times his cash on hand, Alaska's Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell is tied or beating the incumbent in most polls:
Republican Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell stands a strong chance of defeating Young in the party’s Aug. 26 primary, according to recent polls and analysts, which would provide Democrats with a new opponent for the general election.

Young has drawn wide support over the years for his advocacy for his home state, but critics argue that his connections to a federal investigation into Alaska oil services company Veco Corp and its ties to political figures in the state have made him vulnerable for re-election this year. Opponents also note that the House has called for an investigation into an earmark for a Florida transportation project, which Young is accused of changing to possibly benefit a major supporter. Others believe Young’s well-known rough-hewn manner is diminishing his effectiveness in the House and reflecting badly on the state.

Parnell, a lawyer and former state lawmaker, entered the House race just two months ago, but is backed by popular Republican Gov. Sarah Palin . Recent polls show Parnell besting or nearly breaking even with Young.

“It’s time for a new messenger in Congress in Alaska,” Parnell told CQ Politics.

[...]

Parnell is campaigning on issues such as resource development, job creation, the nation’s economy, establishing a natural gas pipeline and fixing high gas prices, in addition to what he calls “restoring trust issues,” all things on which Parnell believes he can be more effective than the congressman.

“Voters appreciate the years he’s given, but we also think it’s time for new leadership,” Parnell said of Young.
Parnell's kind words stand in deep contrast to Rep. Young's response when he found out Parnell was challenging him. A refresher:
"Sean, congratulations," Young said. "I beat your dad, and I'm going to beat you."

Pat Parnell ran as a Democrat against Young in the 1980 general election. Young received 114,089 votes to the elder Parnell's 39,922, according to the Division of Elections.

Gesturing with his finger toward Parnell, Young said that if Parnell had wanted the U.S. House seat, he should have run two years ago.

"If you wanted to run for this job, you should have done it two years ago instead of running for lieutenant governor," Young said. "You wanted that job. Stay where you are, and that's where you're going to be."
A real class act.

I've never been to Alaska, but I think that if Parnell takes this seat away from Young, it would be the one bright spot in an otherwise disastrous election season. So, shill away I must.

Contribute to Parnell's campaign here.

(h/t RedState)

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