The following Bottom Lines have been updated following this week's primaries in Wyoming and Alaska.
Independent Gov. Bill Walker is among the most vulnerable incumbents seeking re-election this cycle. His chances at a second term aren’t helped by the fact that both parties nominated very credible candidates. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich was a last-minute entry into the Democratic primary and managed to clear the field. His candidacy has made Democrats competitive in this race, and party strategists like Begich’s chances, contending that Walker will hurt the Republican nominee more than he will siphon votes away from Begich. On the Republican side, former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy took 62 percent in a seven-way field to win the nomination. Republicans argue that they are better off with a three-way race because Begich and Walker share the same pool of voters that they will split, leaving the GOP nominee to win with a plurality of the vote. They do have to contend with the presence of Libertarian candidate businessman Billy Toien on the general election ballot. Regardless of how much truth
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