Politics

Murkowski Declares Write-In Campaign For Alaska Senate Seat

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Looks like the Tea Party folks are getting a lot more push back from the GOP then they were expecting. First Mike Castle won’t endorse Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and now Lisa Murkowski is literally trying to win while not being on the ballot.

From Anchorage Daily News:

Murkowski said she agonized over the decision to run as a write-in and that, as of Thursday night, she still didn’t know if she was going to do it. She said she kept hearing from Alaskans who felt they couldn’t vote for either Miller or the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams.

“They told me that we cannot accept the extremist views of Joe Miller,” she said. “We can’t accept those views and, equally, we can’t accept the inexperience of Mr. McAdams,” she said.

So, does she have a shot? Well, as the story notes, the last time a write in campaign was successful was in 1956 when Strom Thurmond won in South Carolina. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, and Alaska is a very different type of state. If Murkowski can effectively paint Miller as a radical and McAdams as inexperienced, that could bode well for an independent run.

Still, McAdams is the mayor of Sitka, a small Alaskan town with roughly the same population as Wasilla. I’m not saying that McAdams should make the comparison to Palin, but there is a parallel.

Looks like Murkowski is already getting ahead of anything Palin will say to effectively neutralize her endorsement with a more populist message…

Former Gov. Sarah Palin, whose support for Miller drove hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the Tea Party Express his way, called Murkowski’s effort futile. Murkowski offered a response to Palin, who resigned as governor last year, and to others she described as “naysayers” in Washington D.C.

“Perhaps it’s one time they met one Republican woman who won’t quit on Alaska,” Murkowski said, receiving a huge standing ovation from her supporters.

So, can she do it?

Cue Nate Silver:

Can Ms. Murkowski win? Sure she can. There is plenty of precedent for write-ins being elected to the Congress, although fewer have done so successfully in recent years. Meanwhile, a poll by Public Policy Polling found Ms. Murkowski getting 34 percent of the vote against Mr. Miller’s 38 percent and Mr. McAdams’ 22 percent. Private polling has also shown Ms. Murkowski running closely with Mr. Miller, according to The Hotline. […]

Finally, Alaska has a large number of independents. A plurality of 42 percent of Alaskans identified themselves that way in exit polling in 2008, one of the highest percentages in the country. Thus, an independent candidacy like Ms. Murkowski’s has a natural constituency of sorts.

As the saying goes, “May you live in interesting times.”