Murkowski Wins After Historic Write-In Campaign

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The last undecided Senate race of 2010 finally has a winner. Incumbent Lisa Murkowski has become the first senator in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign.


Now, on the Senate side, it took over two weeks to get to victory, or what looks like victory, but the race in Alaska seemed to have come to an end last night with incumbent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski saying she'd kept her job.

Senator LISA MURKOWSKI (Republican, Alaska): Wow.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Sen. MURKOWSKI: We will look back on this and say what a race this has been.

INSKEEP: Certainly has been interesting. After she lost the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, Lisa Murkowski launched a write-in campaign with the mission of educating Alaska voters about how to spell her last name, since that's what many of the votes depended on. It looks like it worked. She is leading by more than 10,000 votes. Even if the contested votes get thrown out, she is still ahead.

Her opponent, Joe Miller, has not conceded though, and he could still request a recount. If the results stand, many will see it as a defeat for Sarah Palin, who backed Joe Miller. Many of her candidates - favored candidates around the country - won this month, but she could not bring Miller to victory in her home state.

The last time a write-in candidate was elected U.S. senator was more than 50 years ago. That was Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

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