Alaska Governor Murkowski Comes in Last in Primary

Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski, whose first act upon taking office was to appoint his daughter to fill out his U.S. Senate term, has been crushed in the Republican primary.

Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, whose perceived missteps over the past four years have turned him into one of the most unpopular governors in state history, soundly lost his bid for re-election after finishing last in a hotly contested three-way race for the Republican nomination.


His approval ratings have skidded over the past four years because of much-criticized decisions such as appointing his daughter to his U.S. Senate seat and purchasing a state jet after his request for the aircraft was denied by both the federal government and state Legislature.

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    It’s possible Palin could beat Knowles — after all, Princess Lisa did it two years ago — but that’s not the way I would bet this morning.

    Sometimes I wonder if Alaska Republicans have a pathological antipathy toward winning the governorship. Given the way things went in 1990, 1994 and 1998, the 2002 campaign seems like the fluke.

  2. From the polls I have seen, the republican chances of winning the election went up considerably with this primary result.

  3. McGehee says:

    YAJ, that may be true. I have to admit that I am surprised by the reports of how unpopular Murkowski got to be, especially since the first unpopular act of his governorship — appointing his daughter to the Senate — got ratified by voters two years ago.

    Apparently a big part of Palin’s appeal is that she refuses to accept that a gas line from Prudhoe to Valdez is less workable than one going through Canada.

    That may help her win in November, but if voters flock to her based on a promise of rerouting the gas line to Valdez, she may very well end up suffering the same fate in 2010 that Murkowski just suffered in 2006.