The New York Times: "The indictment of a sitting senator, particularly one of Mr. Stevens's seniority and stature, reverberated swiftly and ominously through the Capitol, in no small part because of the political implications. Democrats already had high hopes that they would win more seats in November. They now control the Senate by a razor-thin 51 to 49, thanks only to two independents who vote with them. As far-fetched as it might seem, some Democrats have started thinking aloud that they may be able to win nine more seats in November, bringing them a filibuster-proof majority of 60."
VIDEO: In a serious blow to one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was indicted on corruption charges for failing to report $250,000 in gifts from oil companies. NBC's Pete Williams reports.
Stevens professed his innocence. "With the indictment, Stevens, an icon in Alaska politics, becomes by far the most powerful politician charged in the broad, four-year federal investigation into public corruption in the state. To date, three state legislators, a high-level official in Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration, two businessmen and a lobbyist have been convicted, while two legislators are awaiting trial."
Just how much trouble is he in for re-election? Um, a lot. "Stevens, who has never had a close election race since being appointed to the Senate in 1968, says he's innocent and will fight the charges. His campaign is expressing confidence, and even detractors concede his reservoir of loyalty in the state. The question is whether a federal corruption indictment is enough to poison that goodwill."
"It's too late for Stevens to withdraw his name from the Aug. 26 Republican primary ballot, even if he wanted to. But if he won the primary and then resigned, the state Republican Party could pick his replacement for the November general election."
More: "David Dittman, an Anchorage pollster and political consultant working for the Stevens campaign, said voters were already aware of the investigation and anticipating something would happen. The indictment is almost 'old news' now, Dittman said. He emphasized Stevens was charged with filing false disclosures rather than taking bribes. 'In my view, if this is their best shot, it's not good, but there's not a whole lot there,' he said."
And: "As for the GOP primary, developer David Cuddy has been running second in polling. GOP consultant Marc 'Hellenthal said Cuddy would be the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination but has run a lackluster campaign so far. He said a wild card is Alaska political newcomer Vic Vickers, owner of a Florida-based maritime company, who said Monday he plans to spend $750,000 of his own money on winning the primary. 'If a guy is going to spend $750,000, you can't ignore him, and it's not like Dave (Cuddy) is a household name,' Hellenthal said."