ABCNews.com
Alaska

Campaigning in the Alaskan Tundra

Long Winter Nights, Short Letters to Battleground States

Alaskan resident Ryan Kopiasz, 27, is passionate about organizing for Barack Obama.

"I think the Obama campaign and their strategy -- that every vote matters, every voter matters, every community matters -- resonates really well with a lot of Alaskans," Kopiasz told ABC News.

But the young organizer is fighting an uphill battle; Alaska has not gone for a Democrat in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Back in the summer, when the nights were bright, the Obama team thought they might have a chance in the northernmost state. The FBI went after Republican lawmakers for corruption, while the state's senior GOP senator, Ted Stevens, was indicted for corruption.

"For the first time in years and years and years and years, the three Alaska electoral votes were in play for the Democrats against Republicans," Prof. Stephen Haycos of the University of Alaska told "Good Morning America." "That was the case for a little while."

But then, the political earth shifted under Alaska's feet when GOP presidential candidate John McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

"A lot of Republicans might not have gone to the polls," Haycox said. "They didn't want to vote against Republicans, but they didn't particularly want to vote for a Democrat. So they might have stayed home. But now, everybody is going to come out for Sarah Palin."

The governor is extremely popular in her state, Alaska GOP chairman Randy Ruedich said.

"The governor has been overwhelmingly successful in maintaining a positive image here," Ruedich told "Good Morning America." "Popular is a soft understatement."

And though there are anti-Palin rallies in Alaska, polls are projecting a Republican victory in the state by double digits.

As the nights grow long again and winter looms closer, Obama supporters in Alaska have shifted their focus away from their own state. Instead, they write postcards to battleground states. Some Republicans are responding in kind, sending their own postcards to the same battleground states.

Welcome to Alaska -- bright summers, dark winters and political campaigns by proxy.

Comment & Contribute

Do you have more information about this topic? If so, please click here to contact the editors of ABC News.

Sorry. There was a problem with this request, please try again later.
Where's ABC News Today?
The 50/50 Tour This Week:
 
Jump to State Blogs
Politics News
Slideshows