In initial returns on election night, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young hold solid leads over their challengers, nearly doubling their opponents’ vote totals.
With nearly 82% of precincts reporting Sullivan held a nearly 54,000 vote lead over challenger Al Gross, which amounted to a 63% to 32% lead. Young was beating Alyse Galvin by more than 46,000 votes for a 63% to 36% lead.
Many more ballots are yet to be tallied from election night, and there are another 120,000 absentee, questioned and early ballot that won’t be counted until Nov. 10. In a typical election year 120,000 votes would equal over a third of all ballots. Counting these votes could take until Nov. 18 to complete.
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Votes counted on election day, however (including 40,000 early in-person votes) showed both Sullivan and Young with solid leads. Sullivan has announced that he will speak at 11 p.m. on Facebook live.
Alaska’s Senate contest was seen as a key race in the Republican’s effort to retain control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans had 24 seats to defend on Nov. 3 to just 12 seats that Democrats had to protect. It appears as if Republicans will retain control of the Senate. If Democrats had picked up four seats, they would have guaranteed control of the U.S. Senate.