Report: Murkowski Will Run As Write-In For Senate
It looks like we’ll have a three-way race for the Senate in Alaska after all:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will run for re-election as a write-in candidate after losing her bid for renomination, according to sources briefed on Murkowski’s decision.
Murkowski’s decision will set up a 3-way battle between the incumbent, Miller and Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D), potentially turning the race on its head. Private 3-way polling has shown Miller leading, but by a narrow margin.
Murkowski will make the formal announcement tonight in Anchorage. She has been mulling her options after losing to attorney Joe Miller (R) by 1.8% — or about 2K votes out of 110K cast.
Miller won with the backing of the Tea Party Express and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). The Tea Party Express spent hundreds of thousands of dollars criticizing Murkowski’s legislative accomplishments, and Palin campaigned against her rival in the race’s closing days.
She has not formally said she will run, but her campaign is inviting reporters to call in. Murkowski spokespeople were not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.
Campaign volunteers have been inviting supporters to a “kick-off” event tonight, the Anchorage Daily News reported this afternoon. And in comments to the paper on Thursday, Murkowski certainly sounded like a candidate.
The idea of a write-in campaign in Alaska seems to quite the logistical challenge so it’s unclear how Murkowski would fare, but a poll last month did measure her impact had she run as a Libertarian:
In a three way race with Murkowski running as a Libertarian Miller would still lead but with only 38% to 34% for Murkowski and 22% for McAdams. The folks who go for Murkowski favor McAdams 47-23 in a two way contest so somewhat counterintuitively she would actually hurt Democratic chances even though she’d de facto make it a race with 2 Republicans and a Democrat.
While I find it hard to believe that Murkowski would be able to pull off a victory in the current political climate, anything is possible.