Murkowski Victory Within Reach

One more day of counting write-in ballots is all it should take for Lisa Murkowski to be officially ahead of Joe Miller in the Alaska Senate race:

JUNEAU — Sen. Lisa Murkowski retained 89 percent of the undisputed write-in votes in Alaska’s still-undecided Senate race, as the fifth day of the ballot hand count ended.

Her campaign hoped she’d be able to overtake rival Joe Miller as early as Sunday, but counters got through fewer than 5,000 ballots — far fewer than they’d been generally averaging since the count began Wednesday.

Murkowski mounted a write-in campaign after losing the GOP primary to Miller. On Sunday, she trailed Miller by 8,820 votes, according to her undisputed tally.

More than 98,500 write-in ballots were cast, with election officials set to count the last big batch of absentee ballots, an estimated 8,600 to 8,800, this week; a few hundred outstanding ballots from overseas and military addresses are expected by Wednesday’s deadline for those.

As of Sunday, Miller had 87,517 votes, Murkowski had 78,697 that were undisputed.

Here’s the official tally:

Total number of votes for GOP nominee Joe Miller: 87,517
Total write-in votes to be counted: 98,565
Total write-in votes counted Sunday: 4,963
Total write-in votes counted so far: 88,076
Undisputed votes counted for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski: 78,697
Challenged ballots counted for Murkowski: 7,059
Challenged ballots not counted for Murkowski: 1,740
Write-in ballots cast for Joe Miller: 8
Write-in ballots cast for other candidates: 54
Write-in ballots cast for miscellaneous/other names: 518

The math isn’t in Miller’s favor at this point. One wonders if he’ll continue to fight, or do the honorable thing.

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. Neil Hudelson says:

    Wow. I knew it was going her way, but I had no idea that the margin of write-in votes for Murkowski vs. Everyone Else was 78,697:780.


    Yeah, he’s toast.

  2. Trumwill says:

    This is by far the most surprising result of the 2010 cycle. Not that Murkowski in particular ran, but that a write-in with a name that’s not easy to spell won. Yeah, I know they could get a write-in list, but even so it requires more determination than I figured voters to be capable of.