Race of the day: Can a write-in candidate win a Senate seat?

In Alaska, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski is trying to beat both long historical odds and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller

Name & Party:

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INDEPENDENT

Lisa Murkowski

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REPUBLICAN

Joe Miller

Basic Info:

Incumbent

Age: 53

Lawyer

Age: 43

Issues:

  • Wants to repeal health-care reform
  • Has fought portions of No Child Left Behind
  • Says economy "requires some rules" at federal level
  • Wants to repeal health-care reform
  • Wants to abolish Department of Education
  • Says federal minimum wage is unconstitutional

Polling At:34%36%Campaign Chest:$1.9 million$84,000Key Quote:"Maybe I'm in a little bit of the underdog role, which is not bad""Anybody that sees this nation as being on stable economic or fiscal ground is fooling themselves"Petty Controversy:Was appointed to Senate by father, who was governor at the time; the perceived nepotism caused an uproar and sparked a change in election lawsDrew negative publicity when his security team handcuffed a liberal reporter and accused him of "trespassing" at a public eventWild card:Murkowski is running as a write-in candidate after an upset loss to Miller in the GOP primary; the Democrat in the race, Scott McAdams, could easily tip the election — he is currently polling at 25 percent

Dueling Ads:"Spelling Clinic": The Murkowski campaign challenges the notion that Alaskans aren't "smart enough" to vote for a write-in candidate"Hello Voters": In an Old Spice ad spoof, Miller reminds voters that he beat Murkowski in the GOP primary

Murkowski's "Spelling Clinic":

Miller's "Hello Voters":

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