Alaska Turning Purple as Election Nears

Obama leads in poll; Democrat hasn't taken state since 1964
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2008 12:36 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,and his wife Cindy board the Straight Talk Air campaign charter airplane, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008, in Newark, N.J..    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – The cold, snowy tundras of Alaska may transform into a battleground this November as Barack Obama and John McCain vie for the Land of the Midnight Sun's three electoral votes. Alaska hasn't gone blue since 1964, when LBJ won in a landslide, but an Anchorage-based poll currently has Obama leading McCain by 5 percentage points.

The poll is far from exact—it has a margin of error of 4.9 points. But scandals affecting Republicans like Sen. Ted Stevens are providing a boost to the Obama camp. When asked if Obama can sustain momentum into November, one veteran research director responded, "I think we're definitely in play."