Yikes: Murkowski Pulls Even with Miller in Alaska Senate Race

Guy Benson
Posted: Oct 20, 2010 6:37 PM
I still have trouble believing that fully 37 percent of Alaska's electorate will actually go through the trouble of writing in Lisa Murkowski's name, but Joe Miller and Tea Partiers everywhere can't be pleased with this news:

A new poll indicates a dead-even race in the Alaska battle between Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller and GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who's running for re-election as a write-in candidate. But a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also suggests that confusion or frustration over the write-in procedure could cost Murkowski crucial votes in her bid to keep her seat.

According to the poll, 37 percent of likely voters in Alaska say if the election were held today, they would vote for Murkowski, with an equal amount saying they'd cast a ballot for Miller, and 23 percent saying they'd vote for Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, the Democrats' Senate nominee. Miller and Murkowski were also deadlocked in a CNN/Time poll conducted late last month.

The silver linings to this story don't provide much relief:

(1) CNN/Time's state-by-state poll numbers have been rather screwy in the very recent past -- but they're not the only ones noticing this trend.  It's real.

(2) Yes, it will require extra effort for Murk's supporters to pencil in her name, but that process has been idiot-proofed: Alaskan officials say they'll count "Lisa M" as an acceptable spelling of Murkowski's name.

(3) Democrat Scott McAdams is lagging far behind, meaning Alaskans will elect a Republican Senator in November.  But the grassroots would hardly consider a Murkowski "win" something worth celebrating.

Parting thoughts:  If you can barely stomach the thought of a "moderate" sore loser / nepotism beneficiary like Murkowski pulling a rabbit out of a hat in a deep red state, you know what to do.  And if Murk pulls this off, but continues to caucus and vote with the GOP, will Senate Republicans look like geniuses for affording her the courtesy of maintaining her seniority on the Energy Committee?