Murkowski Decides To Run As A Write In: Now The Alaska Race Gets Very Interesting

Well, this is certainly interesting:

With the slogan "Let's Make History," Lisa Murkowski announced Friday that she'd pursue a write-in bid to keep her seat in the U.S. Senate after losing the Republican primary to Joe Miller.

The decision is a historic gamble for Murkowski, who was joined by hundreds of supporters waving red-and-blue "Lisa for Senate" signs and chanting "Run, Lisa, Run!" in the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.

Anchorage Republican pollster and political consultant David Dittman said Murkowski is taking a big risk and he doubted she'd have much of a political career left if she put supporters through a write-in and lost for the second time.

What are her chances? Pretty poor. On the other hand, she does have a million-dollar warchest she needs to spend somewhere, so why not?

Her opponents will have the huge advantage of having their names printed on the ballot. Miller beat Murkowski in the primary with 55,847 votes to her 53,834. Murkowski said Friday that Miller's tally was just 11.9 percent of Alaska registered voters, although state Republican Party Chair Ruedrich called it a Republican primary turnout record.

Murkowski said that "to the tens of thousands of you who didn't vote in the primary, I ask you to join us. ... your vote has never, never been more important."

Murkowski is "going to get clobbered," said Sal Russo, the California political consultant behind the Tea Party Express. His group put an estimated $600,000 into Miller's campaign and won't hesitate to return to Alaska if they're needed, Russo said.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign committee said Murkowski's decision was the Republican Party "cannibalizing itself." The DSCC sent out a statement bashing Murkowski and Miller and touting McAdams.

The group called Miller an extremist and Murkowski a "Washington insider." It remains to be seen if the DSCC will actually give McAdams any money, though. So far it hasn't and won't say if it will.

Yes, the Democratic political apparatus can be almost as stupid as the Republicans'. Nothing like letting a great opportunity go unsquandered.

The next poll out of Alaska should be verrrry interesting. Nate Silver points out that Murkowski can win. Judging from his numbers, it seems Murkowski's entrance into the race probably hurts McAdams, who stood to gain a lot of voters who can't stomach Miller. But the situation is extremely fluid right now.


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