Murkowski Officially Leads In Alaska Senate Race

With just under 10,000 write-in votes left to count, Lisa Murkowski is now officially in the lead in the Alaska Senate race:

The Murkowski campaign is all but claiming victory as Sen. Lisa Murkowski leads Joe Miller by more than 1,700 votes after Monday’s review of write-in ballots.

More than 8,000 write-in ballots remain to be looked at. The trend since counting began last week has been for the Division of Elections to count more than 97 percent of them for Murkowski.

Murkowski campaign manager Kevin Sweeney said he won’t be claiming victory until all the votes are counted. But, assuming the trend continues, Sweeney said Miller has to be thinking about giving up. Sweeney said he doesn’t see how the math works out for Miller to think it’s going to do him any good to keep trying to get the courts to toss out misspelled ballots. It looks like there will be enough perfectly spelled ballots for Murkowski to win, Sweeney said.

“It’s hard for me to figure that they would be able to look at these numbers and come up with any reasonable move other than facing the fact that Lisa Murkowski won the election,” Sweeney said.

The Miller campaign insists that’s not the case. Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said he still thinks the court challenge could get enough votes thrown out for Miller to win.

“The race is far from over,” DeSoto said.

So, now we’ve entered the phase in the race where Miller’s goal is not to get all the votes counted, but to try to invalidate enough votes so that he can win. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I’d want to win an election.

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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.