AP: Murkowski Wins Alaska Senate Race As Write-In Candidate UPDATE: Murkowski Rips DeMint

Posted: Nov 17, 2010 2:56 PM
If the Associated Press' call holds up -- and they've had a sketchy moment or two in 2010 -- this news constitutes both an historic achievement by Murkowski, and a major disappointment for conservatives:

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sen. Lisa Murkowski has become the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign.

Murkowski emerged victorious after a painstaking, two-week count of write-in ballots showed she has overtaken over tea party rival Joe Miller.

Her victory became clear when Alaska election officials confirmed they had only about 700 votes left to count, putting Murkowski in safe territory to win re-election.

Murkowski has a lead of about 10,000 votes, a total that includes 8,153 ballots in which Miller observers challenged over things like misspellings, extra words or legibility issues.

UPDATE: Even before her victory was officially declared, Murkowski was aiming and firing at Sen. Jim DeMint.  Things could get mighty awkward in the cloakroom next year:

After ripping Sarah Palin, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski isn’t mincing words about another one of her high-profile GOP critics: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

“I think some of the Republicans in the Congress feel pretty strongly that he and his actions potentially cost us the majority by encouraging candidates that ended up not being electable,” Murkowski told POLITICO outside her Senate office. “And I think Delaware is a pretty good example of that, and I think there’re some folks that feel that DeMint’s actions didn’t necessarily help the Republican majority.”

UPDATE II: Jillian has more historical perspective on Murk's write-in win.