Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who was defeated by Tea Party-backed Joe Miller in the GOP primary on August 24th, announced this evening that she will continue her campaign as a write-in candidate.
After losing to Miller, Murkowski had three options. One - accept the primary results; two - persuade the Libertarian Party to remove their candidate, and replace him with her; or three - run as a write-in.
At her announcement rally, she gave this gem of a quote:
"Today my friends, my campaign for Alaska's future begins. I announce today I will be a write-in candidate for the United States Senate seat I now hold. The easier route for me personally would be to accept the results of this primary and put me and my family first, and I gave that very serious consideration. ... But I looked into my heart, and I said, 'where is my heart,' and my heart is Alaska. I cannot leave you. ... I listened to Alaskans who said, 'Lisa, please give us that choice. We cannot accept the extremist views of Joe Miller.'"With Murkowski back in the picture, the Democrats chances at taking the seat go from non-existent to a small potential. Miller and Murkowski could split enough of the GOP vote for Democrat Scott McAdams, although it is still unlikely, as polls show Miller and Murkowski far ahead of McAdams (one poll showed Miller in the lead, another showed Murkowski).
Murkowski is in a predicament, though. No one has won a write-in candidacy for Senate since Strom Thurmond did in 1954. Winning anything as a write-in - especially with a difficult name - is a huge hurdle.
Polling a race like this, also, is a problem. You can't simply name Miller, McAdams and Murkowski when polling - because Murkowski will not be on the ballot. You would have to say Miller, McAdams, and "someone else", and if the individual said "someone else", then ask Murkowski (and others) in order to more accurately simulate the actual ballot.
Murkowski has resigned her Senate GOP leadership position, following pressure from fellow Republican Senators.
I'm with Erick Erickson of RedState.com - "Is there anyone in Alaska named Murlowski? Can we get that guy to run as a write-in candidate?"