Officials are still counting and campaigns are still jockeying, but it looks like Sen. Lisa Murkowski has pulled off a minor political miracle by winning a write-in campaign after getting bounced from the GOP ticket by tea party upstart Joe Miller.
To be clear, Murkowski has not been crowned and her rival has yet to concede, but her victory is assured unless a substantial number of challenged votes are thrown out.
New York Times:
On the sixth day after election workers in Juneau began manually counting write-in ballots in the race, elections officials had made their way through 94,674 write-in votes and determined that 92,164 or them were for Ms. Murkowski. That put Ms. Murkowski 1,716 votes ahead of her principal opponent, Joe Miller—and her lead will only grow as several thousand more write-in ballots are counted in the next few days.
There is a catch, of course. The Miller campaign has been aggressively challenging write-in ballots that are misspelled or somehow imperfectly marked—as well as plenty of ballots that have no apparent error. Ms. Murkowski’s lead includes ballots that the Miller campaign has challenged but that the state had determined are valid. The Miller campaign is raising money for a lawsuit it hopes will throw out the challenged votes.