Tomorrow is primary day in Alaska. The most watched contest is between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Republican challenger Joe Miller, who has been endorsed by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express.
I previewed that race in two posts, the second of which observed that, notwithstanding Palin’s endorsement, Miller did not seem to be catching fire. That still is probably the case. The Tea Party Express says its internal polling has Miller within 11 points of Murkowski, but I doubt the race is that close. In any event, Murkowski seems poised to withstand Palin’s attempt to bring about her defeat.
Several oddities jump out from this race. One is that Palin, having initially decided to contribute to Murkowski’s campaign, then sought, against great odds, to bring about her defeat. The second is that, having put herself on the line for Miller, Palin apparently has not yet campaigned in public for him.
The answer to the riddle may be Todd Palin. All of the emails I’ve received from Alaska’s former first family on behalf of Miller have come from Todd. And I have read that he is a friend of the challenger. Thus, he may have provided the impetus for the former governor to sign up for this fight. However, given the history between the Palin and Murkowski families, I imagine that Sarah Palin needed little, if any, persuading.
Unless the Tea Party Express internal polls are indicative, Tuesday night will be a sweet one for the Murkowskis and a sour one for the Palilns. And it is probably no coincidence that the Senator’s last campaign rally is set for Wasilla.
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