Unlocking the Alaska Mystery

Posted: Nov 02, 2010 9:04 AM
Of all the story lines percolating in the midterms discussion, perhaps the most baffling has been the saga of the Alaska Senate race.  Polling has bounced all over the place -- complicated by the wrinkle of a prominent write-in candidate -- making the contest feel very unsettled.  Now that Election Day has finally arrived, it seems like three puzzling elements may be shaking out with some degree of clarity:

(1) Poll Position: Republican nominee Joe Miller has pulled back into the lead in the last two major polls -- ahead of both Democrat Scott McAdams and the incumbent write-in candidate.

(2) Party Alignment: The incumbent write-in candidate recently started dissembling about which party she might caucus with in the Senate, if re-elected.  Now she's saying definitively that it would be the GOP.

(3) National Republican Support: Despite finger-pointing and implications that the NRSC was secretly backing the incumbent over Republican nominee Joe Miller, NRSC Chairman John Cornyn has again asserted the group's unwavering backing of Miller.

One near certainty: Now that we think we're finally a handle on it, this race is inevitably going to take another wild, unexpected turn.  It's going to be a long, long night.