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10/6/14 - Begich, Sullivan race for Alaskan U.S. Senate seat a test of campaign stategies

According to RealClearPolitics, the average of the three most recent polls show Dan Sullivan ahead of Sen. Mark Begich by six points, but a University of Alaska professor cautions that because sample sizes are so small, polls in Alaska are often a "shot in the dark." Atwood Chair of Journalism Mark Trahant  says the race is a test of campaign strategies as the Democrats use a tactic that helped put President Obama in the White House. He says Democrats are using computer models and strategic communications to get out the vote, while Republicans are using a more traditional "fire up the base" approach of spending money on TV ads that get peoples' blood boiling. The election is important, says Trahant, because the Senate will play a big role in determining the nation's course on handling climate change. The race is also important for Alaska Natives, he says,  because Republicans have vowed to revoke the Affordable Care Act, which would cramp spending on medical services for Native Americans. The election may well go to the party that gets out the most voters. A New York Times/CBS poll shows Begich has higher ratings among women and voters age 18-44, while Sullivan rates higher among men and voters age 45 and up.

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Anchorage is taking court action to stop the ride-sharing company Uber from operating in the city. KTUU reports the city requested an injunction and restraining order against the company Friday. Uber provides a smartphone app that allows people to order rides in privately driven cars instead of taxis. The service launched in Anchorage just over two weeks ago.

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U.S. Army Alaska officials say soldiers at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will be training with explosives near Chugiak starting Oct. 6 and continuing through Oct. 24. Officials say eight explosive charges will be set off each day. Chugiak is about 20 miles northeast of downtown Anchorage.