August 25th, 2010
09:58 AM ET
12 years ago

Murkowski finds political career on the brink in Alaska

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is currently trailing political newcomer Joe Miller in the race for Senate."](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.

Full story

Filed under: 2010 • Alaska • Joe Miller • Lisa Murkowski • Sarah Palin
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Willie12345

    She doesn't look like a very happy woman. Glad I'm not her husband.

    August 25, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |

    I wish there was a like button to throw it back in Palin and the Tea Chumps faces

    August 25, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Robert

    They are still pretending that "outsiders" are in vogue in these elections? It's pretty clear that incumbents and washington insiders have been winning at least 85 percent of the primaries. Where's the backlash against govt officials that they keep talking about? There isn't nearly as much as they want us to believe. Why do they want us to believe it? Because it's a much juicier story, and that's all the news cares about. Fabricate it if you have to, but the story must be juicy or no one will pay attention.

    August 25, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. TangledThorns

    I'm pulling for Miller 100%, Palin made the right choice!

    August 25, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. No Incumbents

    Murkowski became a Senator the old-fashioned way: Nepotism. People really admire that quality about her.

    August 25, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. John

    I didn't think the State of Alaska was that dumb,too vote for a person back by Saran Palin a GOV. that quit on you. And the Tea Party that half the people in it are a bunch of racist.

    August 25, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski "Your are Fired!"

    This is just the beginning...

    The time to clean up both The House and 1/3 the Senate is upon us. Don't vote for the party! It is time the people sent a message to Washington DC we reject politics as usual.

    Fire All incumbents!

    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    This November tell Congress "You Are Fired!"

    August 25, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Fixer2010

    Makes me question the attention span of voters in Alaska. Have they really forgotten that Palin shirked her responsibilities to the Alaskan people in the pursuit of fame. Come on! Why throw your votes towards Palin's endorsements?

    August 25, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. gt

    big.. big..big... changes... washington ,,, better get ready .... change is coming like freight train right down the track..

    August 25, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. DJ in TX

    Why do people try to make this about Sarah Palin? Just becuase she endorsed somebody, doesn't mean anything. If that was the case, everybody she endorses would have won, but we know that isn't true. This is about Murkowski and Miller and anit incumbent sentiment. Some places the sentiment is worse than others.

    I also don't think the Tea Party has anything to do with this either. A lot of their candidates have lost as well. Palin endorsed McCain and Fiorina, who the Tea Party does not like. Anyway, even Ted Stevens (RIP) was defeated and he did a lot for Alaska. So it remains to be seen with the last votes coming in. But let's stop making this about Palin or any other endorsements.

    August 25, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Jay

    That's gotta be totally embarassing for Murkowski. Now it'll be said that she lost to a Palin-backed candidate. How bad do you have to be that you would lose to someone picked by an infinitely stupid and quitting politician whom everyone that is intelligent thinks is a ridiculous and irrelevant imbecile.

    August 25, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Alex

    It's such a shame that moderate Republicans are being pushed aside by the radical fundamentalist right. I guess when analysts say there's a growing resentment for incumbents, they should follow that up with right wingers want less cooperative people running the country.

    And by the way, the reason people in Alaska are doing so well is because all they do is collect entitlements. If Miller wants to erase entitlements, he needs to start with his own state. Then lets see how much Alaska likes him.

    August 25, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. D. Tree

    The more Tea Party candidates that win, the better for Democrats.

    Voters don't want extremists working in Washington D.C

    August 25, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Todd and Sarah the king and queen of welfare.

    August 25, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. J.P.

    I love this. You know those CNN writer's fingers were itching, just waiting to write "Palin-backed candidate defeated on her home turf." Sorry CNN, not this time.

    August 25, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Marie MD

    So many things wrong with the above picture and story.
    She's less of a real rethug but the picture shows her with turtle man himself.. Whatt's her face shouldn't get that much credit bedause
    the people of AK deserve whatever it is they are getting for voting for the half term mayor/governor. You would think they would have learned their lesson but the folks shown at the Valdez airport with the quitter and her husband leave a lot to be desire. PWT at its worst.
    So she commissions her husbhand who seems to be a first class bully to send letters out? Is he a politician now or just wanting to secede from the Union gives him that "right"? The state with the least amount of citizens and nobody goes out to vote? After all the belly aching about the quitter?
    The only way to get rid of AK is to give it back to thr Russians. good riddance to all.

    August 25, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. doon rothmani

    How does this show, as the reporter has stated, that Sarah Palin has great influence? Is it clear that without her endorsement the election results would be different? No. To state that this election shows this is pure and baseless speculation or wishful thinking on the part of Palin and her supporters.

    And, if incumbents are doing well, with this race as an exception, how does it "serve as a reminder" of anti-incumbent sentiment? Because Murkowski is an incumbent? Again, this statement is baseless and without logic. News reports should report news, not invent reality based on parroted conventional wisdom.

    August 25, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Dar

    See ya Lisa, you should have stayed the course but you flip floped. Dumb move sister, very dumb

    August 25, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. curious steve, boston, ma

    good job, sarah! keep up the good work! you're doing good for humanity.

    August 25, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Dixie

    She can thank the goofy followers of sarah palin .

    August 25, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. John

    She should have been more gracious to Palin.

    August 25, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Tino

    Man... Alaskan's are idiots for listening to Palin... but I guess they are simple people with simple thoughts. Lack of sunlight does that to people, I guess.

    August 25, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Rush Goebbels

    Look at old turtlehead eyeing up sheman Lisa,Guess he has some strange thoughts,hahaha.

    August 25, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Christie

    I don't understand this lost, especially since she voted against the people 100% of the time.

    August 25, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Navybill

    Time for Murkowski to go and let someone else step forward. She speaks with the RIGHT side of her mouth and votes with the LEFT. ByeBye!!!

    August 25, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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