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