“Total Write-In Votes” Leading In Alaska

Confounding most of the experts, it looks like Lisa Murkowski’s bid to return to the Senate may succeed after all:

Election returns on Tuesday showed Lisa Murkowski with a good chance to become only the second candidate to run a successful write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate in the nation’s history. But Joe Miller wasn’t giving up, and his campaign was getting ready for a possible court fight.

With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting, about 40 percent of the voters had filled in the write-in oval on their ballot. Most of those likely wrote in incumbent Sen. Murkowski, who spent over $1 million telling voters to “fill it in, write in” after she lost to Miller in the Aug. 24 Republican primary.

But it won’t be clear for weeks at least how many of the voters wrote in Murkowski’s name, and how many did it properly enough to be counted. Republican nominee Miller, who ran on a tea party platform with the backing of former Gov. Sarah Palin, was pulling in 35 percent of the vote. Miller was followed by Democratic nominee Scott McAdams, who had about 24 percent of the vote.

As of this writing, the unofficial results from the State of Alaska show the following:

  • Total Write-In Votes — 81,876 votes  (41 %)
  • Joe Miller — 68,288 votes (34.20%)
  • Scott McAdams — 47,414 votes (23,74%)

Currently, “Write-in votes” has a 13,588 vote cushion. That seems to me to be a more than sufficient cushion to survive any challenges and, presuming that the vast majority of the write-in votes were cast for Murkowski (a logical assumption), then I think it’s safe to say that she has a better than even chance of returning to the Senate.

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. TG Chicago says:

    Is this the first time you’ve referred to Murkowski’s write-in candidacy without calling it a “sore loser” campaign?

  2. I don’t think I’ve used that phrase myself, and I never dismissed the possibility she could win

  3. “So far, Murkowski’s write-in bid is looking like little more than an exercise in pure vanity.” — Doug Mataconis

  4. Pug says:

    You can get elected senator from Alaska with less than 100,000 votes?

    You couldn’t get elected dog catcher in an LA or Houston suburb with that many votes.