Yesterday, I noted that the count of the first 20 percent of write-in ballots in the Alaska Senate race was strongly favoring Lisa Murkowski. Based on my understanding of the state of play, I suggested that Murkowski will win the Senate race unless approximately 12 percent of the write-in votes either (a) are for someone other than Murkowski or (b) are thrown out because “Murkowski” isn’t spelled well enough. And I pointed to reports indicating that, with respect to the initial 20 percent of the count, Miller seemed to be falling short.
Now, about half of the write-in votes have been counted. Ninety percent of them have been recorded as Murkowski votes without dispute. And this apparently is true even though Miller’s challenges have been quite aggressive. For example, the Miller campaign reportedly has challenged ballots that spell Murkowski correctly but are written in cursive. There would seem to be virtually no chance that such a write-in vote would be discounted.
If the trend continues, Alaska will have produced, in the space of a few months, a monumental primary upset (Miller over Murkowski) followed by a monumental general election upset (Murkowski over Miller by write-in).
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