The Big Question: Will Murkowski be a winner or a spoiler in Alaska?

Bill Press, host of the "Bill Press Show" and a contributor to the Pundits Blog, said:

Having run a statewide write-in campaign (for presidential candidate Jerry Brown, in Oregon, in 1976), I know how difficult they are. Even more difficult in a geographically challenged state like Alaska. Which means Lisa Murkowski can't win. But she could steal enough GOP votes from Joe Miller to make Democrat Scott McAdams the next U.S. Senator from Alaska. Her decision is the best thing that could happen to Democrats in this race.


A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist at The Hill, said:

It is hard to picture a scenario in which Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) defeats GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller on Nov. 2. Write-in candidacies are long-shot bids and Miller is not only going to be able to attract significant financial backing from Tea Party groups, but unlike some other Tea Party candidates, he is a strong candidate and particularly well-suited to Alaska. Democrats struggle to win statewide in Alaska, and though former Gov. Tony Knowles proved it isn't impossible, 2010 is an especially tough year to get elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate from Alaska. Miller has been a judge, an attorney from a prestigious law firm in Alaska, an army veteran awarded a bronze star for combat in the first Gulf war who graduated with honors from West Point. It will be hard to succeed in painting him as extreme in Alaska.


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:

Has anyone ever won a write-in campaign for Senate? I don't think so. And I have a question: Does the vote it still count if they misspell her name?

Murkowski lost her primary fair and square, and I think most Alaska voters will see her as a sore loser. Being a U.S. senator is not — and ought not to be — an hereditary job.

(Editor's Note: Strom Thurmond was the last candidate to win a Senate campaign as a write-in candidate, in 1954.)