By Derrick DePledge
So what does it look like when a small state becomes a battleground in the fight to control the U.S. Senate?
The New York Times reported over the weekend that more than $20 million has flooded into Alaska, where first-term U.S. Sen. Mark Begich -- a friend of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz -- is trying to fend off a challenge from former Attorney General Dan Sullivan and two other Republicans.
From the Times:
A big part of being an Alaskan is harboring a suspicion of all things Lower 48. It’s an inclination that runs so deep that locals have a proper noun to describe everywhere else — Outside.
So, naturally, there is quite a bit of alarm here over the state’s newest political distinction. Alaska has unwillingly become a giant receptacle for money from “super PACs” and other out-of-state groups fighting over control of the United States Senate.
In no other state have so many ads about a Senate race run so far; in no place else has more money been spent to book commercial time through Election Day. More than $20 million worth of ads have been reserved so far — the bulk of the money coming from Washington-based outfits like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, which wants to elect a Republican, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is defending Senator Mark Begich, one of the most targeted first-term Democrats.
Five months before the November election, that sum would be extraordinary in any state. It is all the more staggering considering it will be spent to reach only about 490,000 registered voters.