(CNN) - Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a scion of what was once one of Alaska's most famous political families, finds her Senate career on the brink Wednesday morning – trailing previously little-known attorney Joe Miller by 1,960 votes according to an unofficial count by the Associated Press.
Miller highly benefited from support from the Tea Party Express and the backing of Sarah Palin, who in the 2006 GOP primary defeated a Murkowski of her own – then-sitting Gov. Frank Murkowski.
But with over 16,000 ballots expected to be received within 10-15 days, about 14 percent of the vote remains out standing and it is likely to remain unclear who won this battle for days. Given the number of absentees, Murkowski will likely need to capture 57 percent of the remaining votes to eek out a victory.
Listen: CNN's John King and Bob Costantini discuss the Alaska GOP Senate primary.
Still, on a night where most of the incumbents held serve in the political arena, Murkowski's performance is a striking reminder of continued voter discontent toward incumbents and the influence Palin can wield on elections – especially in her home turf.