Miller’s Chances Of Victory In Alaska Look Slim

Nate Silver looks at the numbers and sees little chance that Joe Miller will be able to catch Lisa Murkowski:

However many ballots Mr. Miller elects to challenge — and he could challenge every single ballot if he wanted to — only a certain fixed number of these challenges will have any realistic chance of being upheld. The fact that, on the first day of ballot counting, Mr. Miller’s campaign was already indulging in what seems to have been quite a number of frivolous challenges, and despite this, was still not able to challenge ballots at a rate consistent with what would eventually be required to deny Ms. Murkowski re-election, speaks quite poorly to his chances.

During the next several days of ballot counting, I would expect the fraction of ballots challenged by Mr. Miller’s campaign to increase: enough to put him beyond the 11.6 percent threshold that I described earlier, so that he could make some nominal claim that the outcome of the election was disputed. As a direct corollary of this, I would expect the average quality of Mr. Miller’s chances to decrease.

And, on cue:

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign on Thursday accused observers for rival Joe Miller of making petty challenges in the counting of voters’ write-in ballots in an attempt to tilt the Alaska Senate race in their favor.

Miller’s campaign disputed the charge, saying observers are simply challenging votes that don’t meet the strict letter of the law – including those with minor misspellings of Murkowski’s name or those with legibility or penmanship issues.

Shortly after the second day of write-in ballot counting began in the race, a Miller observer challenged a vote for Murkowski that appeared to have her name spelled and printed correctly, though the “L” in “Lisa” was in cursive handwriting.

“They’re just absolutely trying to boost their numbers,” Murkowski spokesman John Tracy said.


H/T: David Weigel

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    If you get any of your insite fro Weigel you are only getting lefty info. No f ing wonder.

  2. Kylopod says:

    Here’s my question: if this dispute continues when the new Senate is supposed to convene, will Murkowski be forced to vacate her seat until the controversy is resolved? If so, things could get interesting. The Coleman/Franken controversy last year was a net benefit to the GOP, because it kept a Democrat out of the Senate for several months. But since this new dispute is between two Republicans, it will weaken the GOP if it’s dragged out too long. I’m sure Miller will be pressured to quit, and if he doesn’t bow to that pressure, it will greatly intensify the rift between the Palin crowd and the GOP establishment.

  3. wr says:

    Uh-oh. When Miller loses, will Zels finally start ihs revolution and start murdering people as he has threatened repeatedly?