November 15th, 2010
09:42 PM ET
12 years ago

Murkowski by name pulls ahead

(CNN) - As the counting of write-in votes continues in Alaska, the country's sole remaining uncalled Senate election, the latest numbers show incumbent Republican and write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski leading Tea Party-backed Republican challenger Joe Miller in the Senate race.

Until Monday night, there were more write-in votes than votes for Miller. But for the first time, the votes actually counted for Murkowski top Miller's numbers.

New results posted by the Division of Elections give 84,563 write in votes to Murkowski, along with 7,601 challenged votes being counted for her.

That total of 92,164 votes that are pending challenges is ahead of Miller’s 90,458 votes.

More write-in votes, which are going for Murkowski at an 89 percent rate, remain to be counted. Election officials hope to complete the count later this week.

Kevin Sweeney, Murkowski's campaign manager said today's absentee votes were the last large batch of votes to be counted.

"Joe (Miller) will receive very few more votes, with the exception of a couple hundred overseas ballots to come in," Sweeney said in a statement. "However, it looks like Lisa will be credited with about 10,000 more write-in votes after they have been reviewed in Juneau."

"If the unchallenged rate proceeds as it has for the past 5 days, Lisa stands to win the race, even accounting for Joe Miller's challenges. And we expect him to concede the race as he has indicated he would," Sweeney said.

Randy DeSota, a spokesman for the Miller campaign said the race is "still very close."

"If current trends continue, Murkowski's final unchallenged tally will be in close proximity to Miller's total," DeSota said in a statement. "There are hundreds of ballots yet be counted including those from overseas military personnel, which may draw the overall numbers between the Miller and Murkowski even closer. The race is far from over. The issue that is vital to this election is whether the rule of law will apply to these challenged ballots or some arbitrary, ever-changing standard."

–CNN Political Coverage Manager Steve Brusk contributed to this report

Filed under: Alaska • Joe Miller • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. King Benny

    I hope all these problems that have been faced by Murkowski thanks to the Republicans will help in severing her allegiance once and for all with that party.

    November 15, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Finally! Go Lisa. Talk about having cojones . . . . . this is what she thinks about the half term from the Anchorage Daily News. Somebody in the rethug party who can think and not be afraid of monsters lurking in the tundra.
    "she doesn't think Sarah Palin has the leadership qualities to be president, nor the "intellectual curiosity" needed to make good policy."

    November 15, 2010 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. Kim J.

    For once, sanity and reason seem to be reigning in Alaskan politics (not because Murkowski will likely be elected, but because the crazy nut job Tea Party candidate did not win).

    November 15, 2010 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Tsah from Virginia

    What a SLAP in the face for Sarah Palin!!!! Lisa Murkowski should turn Independent to Sarah a DOUBLE-SLAP and all of the GOPers who called her every bad name in the BOOK!!!

    Let's continue to move America Forward with our Leader, President Barack Obama!!

    November 15, 2010 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Truthseeker

    NICE. I am *so* not a Republican, but yet find myself very supportive of and happy for Lisa Murkowski!

    p.s. Hey Sarah, I think this is God slamming the door in your face, or at least asking you to please shut up.

    November 15, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Clwyd

    I hope Murkowski will remember the name sarah palin after she becomes Senator and make Alaska a living nightmare for sarah!

    November 15, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  7. Tam

    But you mean so many actually did pick Miller?

    November 15, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  8. twiddly

    Murkowski wins! You betcha! 🙂

    November 15, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. GonzoinHouston

    I'm no big Murkowski fan, but even Sister Sarah would be better than Miller.

    November 15, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  10. George

    Face it, Sarah. You've lost another one in your home state. Now, stay there and shut up.

    November 15, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. fhwilson429

    it sounds like the 'people' want more of the same.
    Voters deserve what they get.

    November 15, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  12. Chris

    miller, go home and get a real job or start a business with o'dingbat doing lectures on the loser circuit...

    November 16, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  13. bluemeat

    looks like the tea party is over. poor sarah and joe, what will they do?

    November 16, 2010 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. tony

    The tea party wants to represent the angry majority of the American People. It seems the angry majority wants to throw the tea party bums out.

    November 16, 2010 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  15. Brainwashed by GOP

    Way to go Sen Murkowski!

    I also love the way you dissed quitter half term gov Palin today.

    you rock!

    November 16, 2010 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  16. CBR

    The Alaska race just shows that people will vote for the best person regardless of the endorsements of powerful people. If Sen. Murkowski wins then it is very clear that Alaskans made a clear effort to re-elect her. If Joe Miller wins then that might be an indication that Sarah Palin's endorsement did get him the votes he needed to win.

    2010 will go down as the worst election cycle in a long time. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent. The atmosphere was nasty and mean.

    Where did all of this money come from. We are supposedly in a recession. Who has that amount of money to give to candidates? Since the Supreme Court opened the gate money has flowed to certain campaigns and to certain groups. There were many agencies working to help those who are less fortunate who certainly could have used that money. Hopefully some investigative reporters will be able to identify these deep pockets.

    November 16, 2010 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  17. Miller bites the dusk!

    Palin is a failure! A nicompoop that is dumbing down our polictics. The American people will get bored with the Tea Party.

    November 16, 2010 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  18. Sam

    This is like watching a horse race...or an elephant race...

    November 16, 2010 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    Goes to show how strong the tea party is...their candidate loses to someone who wasn't even on the ballot, hahaha

    November 16, 2010 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  20. Brian in TX

    I am not a republican, but, I am pleased to see the Murkowski is ahead and will win over the tea party whack-job Miller. That guy is just down right scary to think of him in the United States Senate, much like Angle would have been. Crazyness on steroids.

    November 16, 2010 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  21. Jeff

    Its time for Miller to concede. He can't win, unless he intends to deny voting rights to American citizens. That would directly conflict with the Tea Party's alleged, "we the people" attitude.

    The only investigation that needs to be done now is how much illegal activity has Miller participated in. His story of his misuse of government property has now changed several times. Alaskan officials need to see what truly happened and take the proper action.

    November 16, 2010 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  22. larry

    It appears that even though Republicans voted Miller in that Independents and cross over Democarats wanted Murkowski. The way the primaries are set up the Independents are not regarded at all. There should be some way of changing the proceedure whereby the Independents could vote in one primary or the other. Apparently the choice of the Independents was voted out in the primary.

    November 16, 2010 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  23. The Dude

    All I can say is LOL!! You have to be a pretty horrible candidate to lose to a write-in candidate

    November 16, 2010 06:38 am at 6:38 am |