The votes are still being tallied in the last of yesterday's Primary Day races involving candidates Governor Palin endorsed. Governor Palin's other endorsees, Pam Bondi, Allen West, Paul Gosar, and John McCain, emerged victorious. However, the eyes of the nation followed the Joe Miller-Lisa Murkowski show-down in Alaska, as Palin's endorsement put a relatively unknown Miller on the map. A day later, we're yet looking toward the North as votes are still being counted in a very close race that Miller is leading. He gives credit to Governor Palin for the good shape he's in.
The ADN reports today:
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is battling for her political life this morning against Republican primary challenger Joe Miller, the tea party-backed candidate who has a slim lead as ballots continue to be counted.
Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, led from when the first returns came in Tuesday night and was on the verge of pulling off one of the biggest election upsets ever in Alaska.
With 429 of 438 precincts counted this morning,, Miller had 45,909 votes (51 percent) to 43,949 (49 percent) for Murkowski.
Miller credited the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his lead.
"I'm absolutely certain that was pivotal," he said.
Lisa Murkowski is not quite as happy with the Governor. Though just recently she said she harbored no hard feelings because Palin endorsed Joe Miller, she certainly seemed a bit bitter last night:
Murkowski on Tuesday night took a shot at Palin, saying that when Palin resigned as governor last summer she said she would use her new national role to help out Alaska.
"I think she's out for her own self-interest. I don't think she's out for Alaska's interest," Murkowski said as she waited at her campaign headquarters for results to come in.
I wonder if Murkowski would have had a different perspective had Governor Palin managed to throw her a bone with an endorsement. What exactly is Murkowski's beef anyway? Governor Palin backed a conservative candidate who has a desire to serve the state of Alaska in the way voters expect. Murkowski's voting record does not serve the interests of her constituents, she functions too much like the other side of the aisle, and it's time for her to go. Governor Palin has done her part to help make that happen by backing a true conservative named Joe Miller. Sounds to me like a great benefit to both the state of Alaska and the United States of America.
And the Governor's influence has made all the difference in the world:
Palin and the Tea Party Express made a big push to convince Alaskans to dump Murkowski for Miller. Polls had shown Murkowski with a big lead just three weeks ago. But Miller supporters had thought it was narrowing and were expressing confidence earlier in the day Tuesday that they would be pulling off an upset.
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 nationally as a sign of Palin and the Tea Party's strength, but also because Murkowski is one of the leading Republicans in the Senate.
There may be a long way to go on this one, but Joe Miller has already done what no one thought he could, no one except Governor Palin, of course, who obviously saw his great potential. We await, with her, the "miracle on ice".
Read the full ADN article here.