Libertarian run may still be an option for Murkowski

In her short concession speech Tuesday night, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) didn't sound like someone ready to explore a third-party or independent Senate run this fall, but that won't stop some from trying to talk her into it.

Political consultant and former Alaska independent gubernatorial candidate Andrew Halcro told The Hill he thinks the state's Libertarian Party is willing to take a second look at giving Murkowski its ballot line this fall — if she were to ask. 

Halcro isn't officially affiliated with Murkowski's campaign, but he contacted the Libertarian Party last week to ask if they would consider Murkowski should she end up on the losing end of the ballot count. 

"I think they're willing to at least sit down and talk to her about the possibility," said Halcro. "Murkowski could put them on the map if she ran as a Libertarian." 

Over the weekend, the executive committee of Alaska's Libertarian Party met and unanimously decided Murkowski wouldn't have a shot at its ballot line. 

But Libertarian Party Chair Scott Kohlhaas said Tuesday, "as a sitting senator, we'd always be open to sitting down and talking to Lisa Murkowski." 

A source close to the party also suggested the possibility of Murkowski running as a libertarian isn't completely dead but that she would have to make that appeal.

The party already has a Senate candidate on the ballot — Dave Haase. He would have to agree to step aside for Murkowski.

Alaska pollster Ivan Moore is trumpeting another option for Murkowski — an independent write-in campaign. 

"I think a lot of the more moderate voters are a bit horrified by what we've done up here," Moore said.     

Ultimately it all depends on whether Murkowski is willing to make a move that would surely divide her party in-state and nationally, which she certainly did not sound prepared to do Tuesday.  

In her concession speech the senator said, "This was not a race about Lisa Murkowski. This was a race about Alaska."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which backed Murkowski in the primary, has already pledged its support to Joe Miller and thanked Murkowski for "avoiding a long and costly recount."