If Miller’s thin lead holds, it will be a major coup for Palin but a bigger shock to Alaskans who love their politicians who deliver the federal goodies from Washington.
I mean Murkowski campaigned on that great strength of hers which was in tradition of the late Sen. Ted Stevens and the ever faithful pork barreler Rep. Don Young, who was running well ahead of his competition Tuesday night.
This was the first test of Palin’s influence on Alaska politics since she resigned as governor last summer, and the first sign of how influential the Tea Party movement can be in shaping political races in this state. The race was being closely watched as a sign of Palin and the Tea Party’s strength in Alaska, but also because Murkowski is one of the leading Republicans in the Senate.
The winner will likely face Democrat Scott McAdams in the November general election for U.S. Senate.
If it wasn’t for Alaska’s two senators and one Congressman, the state would be little more than fishing villages and wildlife preserves.
On a recent campaign swing through Ketchikan, Murkowski reminded voters of the value of incumbency with the legacy left behind by Stevens who died in a plane crash days before Tuesday’s election:
Four decades consistently delivering billions in federal dollars for roads, bridges, ports, pipelines and military projects and almost a “bridge to no where” that transformed the 49th state.
When Stevens died Aug. 9, Murkowski quickly changed her Facebook page to include a photo with Stevens and likened the loss Alaskans felt with his passing to what Americans felt upon the deaths of Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
Joe Miller is a decorated combat veteran, former judge and blame-Washington candidate.
Miller, a graduate of Yale Law School and West Point, has never held elective office. He calls Murkowski a late voice to the conservative chorus. For much of her career, Murkowski has been known as a centrist, and Miller notes her history of voting with Democrats.
“She has a very liberal voting record and that also reflects her views of government as being the answer to all ills,” he said. “That kind of perspective isn’t going to pull the nation from the course we’re on.”
(Photo by Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News –Senate Republican candidate Joe Miller, at right, checks his iPhone for results at the Snow Goose in downtown Anchorage as Eddie Zingone and press secretary Randy DeSoto look on. )
Cross posted on The Remmers Report
Comments are welcome. Link to my blogsite or go to my email address at [email protected] . Remmers’ varied career spans 26 years in the newspaper business. Read a more thorough resume on The Remmers Report.
Jerry Remmers worked 26 years in the newspaper business. His last 23 years was with the Evening Tribune in San Diego where assignments included reporter, assistant city editor, county and politics editor.