Sen. Murkowski says she's 'still in the game'

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told the Associated Press Tuesday that she is still weighing her options when it comes a potential third-party or independent bid for Senate this November. 

Murkowski conceded the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller a week ago, but said Tuesday that she has been flooded with emails from supporters appealing to her to not exit the Senate race.

From the AP:

She said that if this was "all about Lisa, certainly the easy thing for me to do would be to figure out what my next opportunity would be with my family and just settle in to a nice job."

"But what I'm looking at is my state and the future of my state for my kids. So, I have not made that determination that I'm going to give up. I'm not a quitter, never have been. And I'm still in this game," Murkowski said.

She met briefly Tuesday with the Libertarian candidate, David Haase after friends of hers - without her direction, she said - approached his party, asking if they would consider a Murkowski candidacy. She said she had an interesting discussion with Haase but made clear she's not interested in changing her "political stripes."

Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto told the Ballot Box, "Both Joe and Sen. Murkowski agreed at a forum on August 20 that they would honor the outcome of the primary. We trust that the Senator will keep her word."

DeSoto called the Senator's concession last week "classy" and said, "the Alaskan people have spoken."  

An official with the state Libertarian Party told the Anchorage Daily News over the weekend that there have been discussions with the Murkowski campaign about a potential run on their ballot line. If Murkowski were to replace Haase, it would have to happen by September 15.

Though the Libertarian party already rejected the idea once, an official told the Ballot Box immediately after Murkowski conceded to Miller that the party could reconsider if the senator made an appeal. 

Political consultant and former independent gubernatorial candidate Andrew Halcro first broached the idea of Murkowski running on the Libertarian line to party officials and maintains that it's still a possibility. 

The greatest negative for Murkowski if she did decide to pursue another ballot line would be the anger she would undoubtedly generate among the base of the Republican Party. Not to mention how the NRSC would react to such a move. 

Murkowski's only other option would be an independent write-in bid, which would be an uphill climb given the logistics involved.  

-Updated at 7:03 p.m.