It’s all over but the conceding. The newest vote count in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race puts the number of uncontested write-in votes for Lisa Murkowski at 92,715; the number of votes for Republican candidate Joe Miller is 90468, not counting the 20 write-in votes he received. Murkowski bests Miller by 2,247 votes, or around 0.88 percent, even if Miller wins his legal challenges and knocks out the 8,153 Murkowski votes being contested. Add those in and she wins by 4.08 percent.
And so Lisa Murkowski will return to the Senate for six years beholden to neither party, the second senator in modern times to win as a write-in candidate. Instead of a nepotistic hold-over from the pre-Palin era, she’s the most popular politician in Alaska.