Nicole Allan looks back on the incredible comeback of Lisa Murkowski, who becomes only the second person, after Strom Thurmond, to win a Senate seat as a write-in:
Once Murkowski announced her [Independent] candidacy and released an ad explaining to Alaskans why she was running this way, the true craziness began. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked her to resign from Senate leadership, and the Republican caucus met to discuss stripping her of her rank on the Energy Committee (which they did not end up doing). In a matter of weeks, Murkowski morphed from one of the highest-ranking, most secure Republicans in the Senate to a party pariah risking her career on what many viewed as a pipe dream.
Her team buckled down on logistics, explaining the write-in process in clever ads and making bracelets with her name that voters could wear into booths. Murkowski firmed up her relationship with native groups, who provided vital support heading into November. The senator also received some help from Miller, whose past reliance on entitlement programs, admission of being reprimanded as a state employee, and combative relationship with the press surely soured some borderline voters on him.
Jay Newton-Small runs through more reasons for her victory:
As I've written before, Murkowski benefited from a sense of panic in the Frontier State from anyone who receives federal money. As the most highly subsidized state in the union -- each Alaskan gets, on average, $9,000 a year from Washington -- that's a LOT of votes.
Miller, meanwhile, won't let go.
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