The Associated Press has called the Alaska Senate race for Republican write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski. Defeating Palin-favorite Joe Miller, Murkowski's victory marks the first successful write-in effort in the U.S. Senate in over 50 years. However, Miller, who trails by more than 10,000 votes, has yet to concede. A potpourri of pundits is now pressuring him to do so:
- This Is Historic, writes Aaron Blake at The Washington Post:
A Murkowski win would make her the first senator since South Carolina's Strom Thurmond to run a successful write-in bid for Senate. Her hand was forced by a stunning loss in the Aug. 24 primary to Miller, who benefited heavily from the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Murkowski quickly pivoted to a write-in candidacy, hoping to capitalize on her well known last name -- her father, Frank, was a former governor and senator from the Last Frontier -- discontent among the broader electorate with Miller.
- Joe Miller Needs to Give Up Now, writes Jo-Ann Armao at The Washington Post:
If it weren't so appalling, one might be amused by someone who claims to adhere to Tea Party tenets about the importance of the will of the people wanting to thwart the intent of voters. Really, is there any doubt about the preference of a voter who wrote in L. Murkowski or Lisa Mirkowski?
Miller's refusal to concede at this point only dishonors himself. After all, he had promised that he would not continue to contest the election if the votes didn't add up. Instead, it now appears he will -- according to what his spokesman told the Anchorage Daily News -- ask for a recount. Alaskans who would have to endure the costs and delay of this fruitless exercise should be thanking their northern stars that Murkowski didn't listen to conventional wisdom but decided to give voters another chance at picking a winner.
- Grow Up, Joe, writes libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway
Even if Miller’s request were granted, the odds that a hand recount would uncover enough votes to make up a 2,247 margin are slim, and the odds that it would uncover enough votes to make up a 10,000 vote margin are non-existent. Miller needs to just give up at this point.
- This Isn't Worth It, Joe, writes conservative blogger Allahpundit at Hot Air:
Because Miller’s not within half a point of victory, by state law he’d have to foot the bill for a recount. Is it really worth it at this point? As for Murkowski, I wonder if she’ll stick with the GOP or embrace her status as the new RINO messiah or whatever by going fully independent. If she takes the latter path — possibly to form the nucleus of a new independent Senate caucus with Snowe, Brown, etc, as I described once before — she’d instantly become a national figure. But then she’d also risk being stripped of her Energy Committee position by the GOP, and a senator who promised to bring home the pork to Alaska can’t afford that.
- Miller Lost It, writes Aaron Blake at The Washington Post:
Miller helped Murkowski's cause with a gaffe-ridden general election campaign that included a high-profile incident where he had a member of his security retinue detain a journalist.
- Miller's Response Christopher Weber at Politics Daily reports:
Miller has said he would consider legal action in the event of a razor-thin margin, but he also conceded that he would give up the fight if it appears the math doesn't work in his favor. Last week a federal judge dealt Miller a blow by denying his request to throw out any apparent votes for Murkowski that misspelled her name. The state said more than 98,500 write-in ballots were cast.