Third Party Route for Murkowski?

The Daily Beasy reports:  Palin Foe Mulls Third-Party Run.

Granted, she hasn’t lost the nomination yet, but it appears that the Murkowski camp is keeping its options open.

To wit, the options appear to be a write-in campaign or:

The other possibility: the Alaska Independence Party. Former Governor Wally Hickel lost the Republican primary in 1990, but won in the general by being on the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) ticket. A third-party run could work for Murkowski as the Democrat’s candidate is largely unknown Sitka mayor Scott McAdams, but she would have to overcome the main reason the AIP exists in the Last Frontier: They are a secessionist party calling for Alaska to leave the United States. Obviously, Murkowski is not a secessionist, which Alaskans know, and an aggressive PR campaign promoting her independence rather than the AIP may be her only route back to Washington this fall.

The write-in option strikes me as a non-starter and the AIP route strikes me as desperation.  It would, however, makes things very interesting.

Sometimes perhaps one ought to just admit defeat.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. PD Shaw says:

    I guess there is no “sore loser” law?

    I really don’t know what I think about these Crist/Lieberman/ Murkowski (?) independent runs. Part of me likes to see political parties get their comeuppance. But part of me thinks that the whole thing worked better in the smoke-filled rooms of yesteryear.

  2. swift boater says:

    This all depends on the AIP. If they have any integrity, which most third Party’s do (the whole core of their existence) they will make Murkowski sign a pledge supporting independence or something along the lines of affirming that. Wonder how that would play with AK voters.

    Write in candidacy? Good luck.

    Either way if she does either it will prove the wisdom of the AK Republicans in ousting her, she is not a real Republican, if she was she would take her marbles and help Miller get elected.

  3. Trumwill says:

    Seems to me that every state should either have a “sore loser” law or a run-off in the event nobody reaches 50%.

  4. I predict Murkowski can’t help but run “third party” – Pathetic Political Opportunist Party (motto: no idea whatsoever what else to do but spend other people’s money ) – founder = Charlie Crist.
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  5. BigFire says:

    AIP didn’t nominate anyone, so her only choice is Libertarian who nominated a flake so flaky that he might vacate his own spot for her (he did voted for her in 2004).  Yes, Alaska did have a sore looser law (deadline for filing for independent was this past Monday, the day before the primary).

  6. MSS says:

    Wait a second…
    So, in Alaska, a candidate who loses one party’s primary can’t run as an independent in the general, BUT can run as the candidate of another party, AS LONG AS that party has already nominated another candidate, BUT can’t run for a party that has no current candidate.
    That can’t be right. Can it?
    As for the “integrity” of third parties, maybe not so much. In recent presidential elections, we’ve had the Reform Party nominate Pat Buchanan, Greens Cynthia McKinney, and Libtertarians Bob Barr. None of these candidates had been known to be closely associated with the core values of the party that nominated him or her.

  7. @MSS:

    I am a bit confused as to the rules as well, although have read two different press accounts (yes, I know) that have suggested that she could replace a candidate for a party that already has a nominee.  I have not had the chance to independently confirm this, however.