Alaska Senate – Where We Stand
After all precincts have reported, Joe Miller leads incumbent Senator Murkowski by 1,668 votes. There were 16,000 absentee ballots sent out, and 7,600 returned. The counting of those will begin on August 31st.
Not all of those ballots will be returned and there is a likelihood that approximately 20 to 30% of those, possibly more, are Democrat votes which will not count towards this primary. So if we assume that 10,000 absentees come back, and that 7,000 are Republican votes, then Murkowski will need to take somewhere around 60%. Given how the voting turned out, Murkowski will need to significantly outperform the voting day results to win.
Ah, but that’s not all. Like any good and loyal moderate Republican, Murkowski is said to be contemplating a third-party run. Now, maybe that’s just her energized, but disappointed staff talking and she is not really thinking that way, and if so and she is gracious in defeat (if that is the result), hats off to her. But if she does decide on a third-party run, she would have to displace a current third-party candidate to be on the ballot like David Haase of the Alaskan Libertarian Party. Haase and the Libertarians have said they would consider it. And what a tragedy for the Libertarians that would be. Murkowski is just the pork-loving, government control type of politician that Libertarians are supposed to despise. That party allowing a her to displace a ‘real’ Libertarian, would give them a short-term gain, but in the long run would further marginalize them as sellouts and destroy the purity that keeps its adherents in the fold.
A switch by Murkowski would of course be just another pathetic moment for moderate, career, self-serving politicians – see Charlie Crist – who put themselves above voters, fair play, loyalty, and country.