Stevens Indicted

I see that Sen. Ted Stevens was formally indicted today:

Veteran Republican U.S. Sen.

Ted Stevens was charged on Tuesday with concealing more than $250,000 of gifts, including renovation of his house, from an Alaska oil services company, the Justice Department said.

Obviously this is good news for Senate Democrats, and Democrats in general if it gets major press. On the other hand, Isaac Chotiner has an alternative theory:

A friend points out astutely: On the contrary, this is potentially very good news for the Alaska GOP.  If there’s any way for them to get Stevens to step down so that some generic Republican can run for the seat, that’s their best chance of holding onto it.  Same with Don Young in the House race.  Republicans only lose in Alaska if they’re significantly more toxic than a generic party functionary.

There could be some vaildity to that, although off hand I’m not sure what the status of replacing Stevens would look like, or whether Stevens would even consider stepping down.