In a surprise result from the primaries in Alaska, favored candidate for a Senate seat, Lisa Murkowski did not win. Instead, Joe Miller, who was backed by Tea Party activists, beat out Murkowski. The hope with Murkowski was that with her seniority, she would be able to be chairwoman for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, an important issue for Alaska.
Since losing the primaries, Murkowski considered being a candidate for other political parties, including the Libertarian Party, but talks ended when it was clear that their political beliefs were too widespread. So she chose a second route: a write-in campaign. With $1 million left in her campaign fund, Murkowski’s campaign members are going to fight for her to be written in for the final elections.
In some ways this makes sense. Having her elected would give her seniority â€” an important issue in Alaska. Before losing the primaries, she was a rising star in the Republican party. Fighting for her senate seat shows how much passion she has for the job. But is this a smart move?
For one, encouraging people to write her in will split the votes between the two Republican candidates, which would give the Democratic candidate, Scott McAdams, who has been shown to be competitive with Joe Miller by polls. Splitting the votes between the two candidates might just give McAdams what he needs to pull ahead (which is exactly what is trying to be avoided by having primaries in the first place). For the Republican party, this is not a good thing. With Democrats having the majority in the House and the Senate, their goal has got to be to keep the seats they have and obtain more seats from other states. Murkowski could be undermining this by running as a write-in.
On top of that, many Republican leaders have endorsed Miller. With Murkowski’s opposing campaign, she’s challenging the party’s candidate. Overall, this does not appear to be a smart move by Murkowski. If she can pull it off, she’ll be hailed as a miracle worker. But if the Democrat candidate wins . . .