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Daily Fix Poll: Sizing up Lisa Murkowski's write-in bid

By Felicia Sonmez

Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) announcement on Friday night that she's mounting a write-in bid to hold onto her seat after her primary defeat to attorney Joe Miller (R) throws a race that was solidly in the Republican column into uncertain territory.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report on Monday moved the race from "Solid Republican" to "Likely Republican," a sign that Murkowski's bid may serve to split the GOP vote and end up benefiting the Democrat in the race, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams.

Writes Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy:

While Murkowski is well-known and retains a reservoir of goodwill among voters, history has not been kind to write-in candidates and Murkowski's path to victory is extremely steep. Still, Murkowski's decision adds enough uncertainty, particularly in the absence of polling to provide some guidance, that we are moving the race to the Likely Republican column.

Murkowski has the benefit of having a last name that's well-known among Alaska voters (her father, Frank Murkowski (R), served as senator for more than two decades and as governor from 2002 to 2006). Murkowski is also sitting on about $1 million in campaign cash, according to aides.

On the other hand, several of Murkowski's fellow Alaskans have waged write-in bids in the past and come up short. And no senator has successfully been elected as a write-in since Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) in 1954.

What say you, Fixistas? Does Murkowski have a good chance of succeeding as a write-in, will her presence in the race help Democrats, or will she not have much of an impact at all? Vote, and give us your reasons why, below.

By Felicia Sonmez  | September 20, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Daily Fix Poll  
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