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As further evidence of the troubles Republicans face in this year’s Senate elections, a Rasmussen Reports survey conducted May 14 shows Alaska’s Ted Stevens trailing Democrat Mark Begich by 2 points, with the Anchorage mayor leading the 6-term senator 47 percent to 45 percent. The margin of error is 4.5 percent. Nearly a quarter of voters who plan to vote for John McCain, say they will back Begich for Senate. Stevens has been a perennial shoo-in, winning his last election with 78 percent of the vote. But since then, he has been caught up in a federal corruption investigation and the number of voters who view him unfavorably stands at 53 percent to 46 percent who have a positive view. Voters view Begich favorably by a 54 percent to 38 percent margin.

A couple of other recent Senate polls on which we reported showed Democrat Tom Udall way ahead in the race to replace retiring New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici and Democrat Kay Hagan closing in on North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

For an overview of the battle for the Senate, see our wrap-up: More Open Seats Hurt the GOP’s Chances.

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