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November 18, 2010 Content provided by DDC Advocacy
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has been officially declared the winner of the marathon Alaska Senate contest. With only 700+ ballots remaining to count, she is beyond the margin of error, even when including all of opponent Joe Miller's (R) challenged ballots. The Senator's lead has grown to over 10,000 votes, exceeding the number of outstanding absentee ballots plus the 8,153 votes Miller is challenging. Thus ends the saga of one of the strangest political campaigns in recent memory. Murkowski lost the primary to Miller principally because she lacked a strong ground force turnout mechanism, but quickly rebounded to form a general election political apparatus to produce a win via write-in -- an operation that requires intense organizational ability. This victory certainly ranks among the greatest comebacks in American political history.
Now, all 37 Senate races are official. The new Senate will stand at 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. The GOP won 24 campaigns in 2010 versus the Democrats' 13, four short of the minimum requirement to claim the majority. Next we move to 2012, where Democrats must defend 23 seats versus just ten for the Republicans. Lisa Murkowski is only the second person to win a Senate seat without officially being on the ballot. South Carolina's Strom Thurmond was the other to accomplish the feat, way back in 1954.