Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Strategy for Joe Miller: Which Lisa Murkowski Did Voters Mean?

Joe Miller, the bearded Tea Party wonder from Alaska (I don't mind the beard since I have one too, although his is lame) may be in a lot of trouble.

And he's tried so very hard and really pulled out the stops. He has the National REpublican Senatorial Committee spending for him.

Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out an e-mail encouraging donors to assist Miller. The NRSC's main aim is to elect and re-elect Republicans, and until today it was unclear whether it would fully back Miller's post-election fight with Murkowksi, another Republican.

In his e-mail, the chairman of the NRSC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, warned that both sides "are beginning to lawyer up and prepare for any possible legal fights. Joe needs your help to make sure he has enough money to make it a fair contest."
"We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count," he wrote. "Because we need Joe to join our fight against Barack Obama. Help ensure that this vote count is conducted fairly."

Notice that the Republican party's goals in the Senate are not to help get America back on track. It's not even to enact a conservative agenda. It's to "fight against Barack Obama."

He's also gotten Floyd Brown, the infamous person behind the infamous "Willie Horton" ad and the founder of Citizens United, to advise his campaign. By this he means make up "allege" voter fraud and intimidation without providing real examples, claiming conveniently that people are too afraid to come forward; perhaps they fear Willie Horton will come after them if they do.

He's got a truly desperate legal team, which has come up with a novel theory that misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name are "protest votes" against Lisa Murkowski.

Prior to the election, people commented on radio stations and in the comment sections in blogs and newspaper stories that they would deliberately incorrectly write-in a variation of "Murkowski" as a protest. They did so knowing that Murkowski was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a "spelling bee" campaign, replete with wrist bands, pencils and tattoos, all to educate the voters on proper spelling. Why was this done? Because even Murkowski had read the law and knew that it required proper spelling -- "No exceptions." So protest voters were trying to send a message to the candidate.

Unfortunately for ol' Joe, all of this may not be enough. The latest numbers don't look good.

The Division reports 89.78 percent of the write-ins are unchallenged for Murkowski, a number that's held steady during the count.

The Division of Elections overturned challenges by the Miller campaign on another 8 percent of the ballots and counted them for Murkowski. Miller hopes the courts will reverse that.

Just 1.52 percent of the 45,132 write-in ballots reviewed so far have been successfully challenged by Miller ballot observers.

There were, in total, 92,979 write-in votes, and 82,180 votes for Joe Miller. So there are 47,847 remaining write-in ballots to review.

Of the 45,132 reviewed so far, 40519 are unchallenged for Murkowski, so she needs only 41662 of the 47,847 remaining (87.07%) in order to be victorious even if all of the challenged ballots are thrown out. If she maintains the current rate, she'll have 83,476 votes, for a margin over Miller that even recounting wouldn't be likely to change.

So I'd urge Joe Miller's attorneys to take the next logical step. How can we be sure all of the votes for Lisa Murkowski were for the incumbent Senator Lisa Ann Murkowski?

From an excerpt of what I'm sure will be a forthcoming lawsuit:

They could well have meant Lisa Murkowski of Delwood, Kansas, who is the "Representative Conference Vice Chair at American Academy of Family Physicians" according to a White Pages search. Of course, this Ms. Murkowski is not eligible to be a Senator from Alaska, but that's okay. They were protest votes for that Lisa! I urge all write in votes that did not make it clear that they supported the specific Lisa Murkowski who is currently Senator to be thrown out because voter intent cannot be determined.

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