Murkowski Declares Write-In Campaign For Alaska Senate Seat

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Democrats, Elections, Republicans, Senate, tea party

Looks like the Tea Party folks are getting a lot more push back from the GOP then they were expecting. First Mike Castle won’t endorse Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and now Lisa Murkowski is literally trying to win while not being on the ballot.

From Anchorage Daily News:

Murkowski said she agonized over the decision to run as a write-in and that, as of Thursday night, she still didn’t know if she was going to do it. She said she kept hearing from Alaskans who felt they couldn’t vote for either Miller or the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams.

“They told me that we cannot accept the extremist views of Joe Miller,” she said. “We can’t accept those views and, equally, we can’t accept the inexperience of Mr. McAdams,” she said.

So, does she have a shot? Well, as the story notes, the last time a write in campaign was successful was in 1956 when Strom Thurmond won in South Carolina. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, and Alaska is a very different type of state. If Murkowski can effectively paint Miller as a radical and McAdams as inexperienced, that could bode well for an independent run.

Still, McAdams is the mayor of Sitka, a small Alaskan town with roughly the same population as Wasilla. I’m not saying that McAdams should make the comparison to Palin, but there is a parallel.

Looks like Murkowski is already getting ahead of anything Palin will say to effectively neutralize her endorsement with a more populist message…

Former Gov. Sarah Palin, whose support for Miller drove hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the Tea Party Express his way, called Murkowski’s effort futile. Murkowski offered a response to Palin, who resigned as governor last year, and to others she described as “naysayers” in Washington D.C.

“Perhaps it’s one time they met one Republican woman who won’t quit on Alaska,” Murkowski said, receiving a huge standing ovation from her supporters.

So, can she do it?

Cue Nate Silver:

Can Ms. Murkowski win? Sure she can. There is plenty of precedent for write-ins being elected to the Congress, although fewer have done so successfully in recent years. Meanwhile, a poll by Public Policy Polling found Ms. Murkowski getting 34 percent of the vote against Mr. Miller’s 38 percent and Mr. McAdams’ 22 percent. Private polling has also shown Ms. Murkowski running closely with Mr. Miller, according to The Hotline. [...]

Finally, Alaska has a large number of independents. A plurality of 42 percent of Alaskans identified themselves that way in exit polling in 2008, one of the highest percentages in the country. Thus, an independent candidacy like Ms. Murkowski’s has a natural constituency of sorts.

As the saying goes, “May you live in interesting times.”


This entry was posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2010 and is filed under Democrats, Elections, Republicans, Senate, tea party. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Murkowski Declares Write-In Campaign For Alaska Senate Seat”

  1. Alistair Says:

    If Lisa somehow end up winning it could send a major ripple effect in the Senate in which we could see Centrist coalition like Kent Conrad, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins Scott Brown, Max Bacus, Claire McCaskell, Ben Nelson Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman & Richard Lugar that will write policies and could help American future when it comes to the deficits & spending. I’m also predicting that President Obama may add a Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zandi or here’s a shock soon to be former Senator George Voinovich.

  2. Jim Satterfield Says:

    Ben Nelson is a centrist? I thought he’d decided that representing Nebraska meant going all the way over to conservative. What positions he’s taken lately on pretty much every issue I’m aware would seem to indicate that.

  3. Alistair Says:

    Jim:

    He ended up supporting the Health Care bill which of course is not popular by conservatives. Let’s also keep in mind that Nelson one of the first Democratic Senators including Kent Conrad, Byon Dorgan & Max Bacus to really throw there support to Barack Obama when he first ran for President.

  4. Alistair Says:

    Back to my first comment, I think he should really consider picking Colin Powell to replace Rahm Emanual as Chief Adviser after watching MTP.

  5. Tillyosu Says:

    Talk about a sore loser. I suspect Murkowski knows she has very little chance of winning this seat, and is running just to spite Miller…and Palin.

  6. Alistair Says:

    Tillyosa:

    Who can blame Murkowski to run again after Miller’s interview with Chris Wallace. Miller couldn’t come up with solutions what’s so ever.

  7. kranky kritter Says:

    Murkowski is definitely a sore loser. It’s also very possible that she has more support among Alaskans than either candidate chosen by either party.

    Alaska’s state republican party is certainly free to do as it wishes, and nominate who it prefers. What they are NOT free to do, however is to create reality. More than once I have heard imbeciles say that Murkowski was rejected by the people of the state of Alaska. That’s not correct. She was rejected by the subset of Alaskans who vote in the republican primary.

    I don’t know a thing about Murkowski, her positions, her character, her pluses, her minuses. The only thing I do know is this: if Alaskans prefer her as their senator to the nominees of either party, she deserves to be their senator.

    I’d be very pleased to see the emergence of a legitimate caucus of independent congressfolk comprised of of people rejected by their parties but preferred by their constituents. It sounds delightful to me. Especially compared to the half-truths and simplistic rhetoric that partyline toers routinely traffic in.

    Just imagine, 10 or 20 congressfolk who listen to the drivel spouted by each side, and then are actually able to say “on the one hand this, on the other hand that.” I might drop dead from shock if members of congress were actually able to demonstrate the ability (and willingness) to perform legitimate critical thinking in public.

  8. Chris Says:

    “I’d be very pleased to see the emergence of a legitimate caucus of independent congressfolk comprised of of people rejected by their parties but preferred by their constituents. It sounds delightful to me. Especially compared to the half-truths and simplistic rhetoric that partyline toers routinely traffic in.”

    that would be fantastic, but is Murkowski really going to be an independent if she were voted in?

  9. Wickedways Says:

    “On the one hand abortion. On the other hand no abortion.”

    Where is the common ground?

    “On the one hand raise taxes. On the other hand lower taxes.”

    The problem is that there are no middle grounds in American politics. We have always been a country obsessed with wins and losses. Not how you play the game.

    We heard all about the blue dog democrats who would keep the Government fiscally in check. Yeah right. We saw how that worked out. In the end they simply rubber stamped the Democratic party because they know where their money ultimately comes from in the end.

    If it were so I would be all for middle ground. The problem always remains. America is a winner take all nation. We don’t abide losing.

    If we did. Murkowski would be retiring in style right now.

  10. kranky kritter Says:

    Wicked, it’s true that there is no common ground if you believe that.

    I won’t waste my time describing what common ground looks like to a non-believer.

  11. kranky kritter Says:

    Chris, the rule in politics is that you only get one betrayal. After that you have to either switch teams or be independent.

    BTW, I’m not predicting anything. I’m just noticing that there is a somewhat higher than usual incidence of folks losing in the party primary and running independently in the general.

    Murkowski probably won’t win. It’s pretty hard to win as a write-in candidate unless you’re some sort of legendary figure.

  12. Tillyosu Says:

    Murkowski probably won’t win. It’s pretty hard to win as a write-in candidate unless you’re some sort of legendary figure.

    You’re probably right. The first poll out since the primary has Miller beating both Murkowski and McAdams…with very few undecideds.

  13. Wickedways Says:

    Oh by all means explain your middle ground. Your common ground. Your first post showed not one example of it. Your second post simply dismissed me as if your morally and politically superior because I contend there is no middle ground.

    I gave examples. You gave none.

    Show me how politicians who are financially supported by a party. Have tens of thousands of leg workers and phone bank operators standing by for their re-election campaigns and have thousands of big spenders as well as powerful pacs on stand by to support the elected official.

    Show me in American politics where a centrist, moderate, self indulgent, telling the party to drop dead politician is actually going to stand against all that??

    Show me, and I just might put you up for election.

    I do not disagree with your sentiment. Only the reality of a post not well thought out.

  14. kranky kritter Says:

    No thank you, wicked. You’ve professed your belief and your cynicism, and you’ve been very antagonistic about it, like you’re spoiling for a fight.

    I am a very skeptical person, but I’m not a cynic like you. Cynicism is a disease, and it can’t be cured by anyone else. You must make the choice to hope, and to keep hoping even if it hurts. it must come from within yourself. Good luck.

    Common ground doesn’t look like a miracle. It looks like hard work. It looks like going straight up the steepest, tallest hill. Because it is.

  15. Chris Says:

    I kind of agree with wicked, but in a less confrontational way. I’d like to see a realistic example of a middle ground as well.

  16. kranky kritter Says:

    One example could be the following, on fiscal issues. In between fiscally liberal and fiscally conservative, there’s room for fiscally responsible. Briefly (so don’t clobber me for a quick sketch that wasn’t written carefully to avoid offending anyone)

    fiscally liberal: the least troubled by deficit spending, the most likely to propose new government programs on moral grounds, the most likely to presume that deficit spending is OK because it has been ok in the past, most likely to propose to bridge budget gaps with increased taxes and new fees

    fiscally responsible: cares first and foremost about balancing spending with available resources, believes no new spending should be approved without a plan to pay for it, but is not reflexively opposed to raising taxes or implementing fees to fund policies that seem sound; more likely to support progressive taxation than a fincon

    fiscally conservative: not only believes in balancing spending with resources but is also reflexively opposed to any new taxes and is passionate about making government smaller; supports things like phasing out social security and reforming the tax code to a flat rate; is not especially trouble that a simplified tax code could be viewed as “regressive”

  17. Chris Says:

    But is fiscally responsible realistic? I think that’s the point that wicked is bringing up. Will fiscally responsible get votes as a bill, or as a politician?

  18. kranky kritter Says:

    Are there people who think about government spending in that way? If there are, then they’ll vote for a candidate who supports that approach, if the candidate is viable.

    As long as the 2 major parties dominate politics, viability is a difficult nut to crack. But we do have growing numbers of unaffiliated voters, and we have politicians quitting parties. (which, granted can be viewed as self-serving).

    My point was never that breaking 2-party hegemony is a likely development, only that it’s possible, and that the chances are better that usual right now because the nature of political discontent with both parties.

    So I support reforms to the system which i think can foster the emergence of useful, sensible consensus, I believe that consensus can sometimes be reached by intelligent leaders acting in good faith. The current system emphasizes a constant battle of thesis and antithesis that overwhelms any real drive for synthesis.

    Wicked seems to have contended that it always has to be as it has been because of our human inability to do better. And I agree that any political hypothesis has to account for the limits of human nature. We act primarily in our self-interest, usually with less than full awareness of how strongly we do so. And we seldom conceive self-interest in broad, well-informed, carefully thought out vision that accounts for long-tern consequences. That much I agree about.

    But I believe that a big part of the problem is the extent to which our 2-party, lobbyist-drive system is able to disregard the concerns of unaffiliated voters in favor of party members and wealthy organized interest groups.

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