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Underdog Rides Tea Party Express in Alaska Primary

In a twist of primary fate on Tuesday, Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s future standing was thrown into question by one Joe Miller, who built up steam for his anti-big-government cause, even in a state known for scoring major federal funding, with a little help from some high-profile conservatives and tea party boosters. –KA

The Washington Post:

Results on Wednesday showed Joe Miller holding a slim lead of about 1,900 votes over Murkowski, but a winner might not be declared until election officials count as many as 10,000 absentee ballots, which could take several days.

Nevertheless, early returns suggested a stunning upset, as Miller carried the anti-spending furor of the “tea party” movement to the most unlikely frontier: a state that has benefited far more from pork-barrel spending over the years than any state in the Lower 48.

Whereas Murkowski continued a long tradition of Alaska politicians touting their ability to steer an outsize proportion of Washington dollars back home, Miller campaigned on his belief that the federal investment there had made Alaska a sort of “federal fiefdom.” Miller argued, apparently with some success, that with the government effectively bankrupt, Alaska should assume responsibility for its own destiny.

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