Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Murkowski Wins More Votes Than All Statewide Write-in Candidates in Alaska History Combined

Bookmark and Share

Only 94,926 Alaskans had cast their ballot for statewide write-in candidates over the previous 52 years; Murkowski eclipses 100,000

Republican write-in U.S. Senate candidate Lisa Murkowski not only made history in Alaska today - with the Associated Press declaring her the winner in her contest over GOPer Joe Miller - but she did so in stunning fashion.

Smart Politics finds Murkowski won more write-in votes in 2010 than all those cast in the history of statewide elections in Alaska (Governor, US Senate, US House) - elections which included write-in campaigns by a sitting Senator (Ernest Gruening, 1968), a former Governor (Wally Hickel, 1978 and 1986), and a GOP-endorsed write-in candidate for Governor (Robin Taylor, 1998).

And it nearly took every one of these write-in votes for Murkowski to come out on top.

The eight previous write-in campaigns for statewide office in Alaska over the past 50+ years tallied 94,926 votes.

After Tuesday, Murkowski had won 100,868 votes, including 8,153 ballots that were counted, but contested by Miller (who sat at 90,448 votes).

Given this historical context, Murkowski's vote tally is an incredible feat - even after discounting her well-known surname and the large amount of money she had to spend to educate a relatively small electorate on the write-in process.

When Wally Hickel ran for governor as a write-in candidate in 1978 - setting the previous Alaskan mark of 26.4 percent - there were slightly more than 126,000 ballots in play.

When Robin Taylor ran for governor as a write-in in 1998 (winning a previous best 40,209 votes), there were slightly more than 220,000 ballots cast in that year's gubernatorial race.

More than 254,000 ballots were counted in the Last Frontier State's 2010 U.S. Senate race, with Murkowski winning more than 39 percent of the vote.

Write-In Candidacies in Alaskan Statewide General Elections, 1958-2010

Year
Candidate
Office
Votes
Percent
Place
1958
Keith Capper
US Senate
599
1.2
3 of 3
1968
Ernest Gruening
US Senate
14,118
17.4
3 of 3
1978
Wally Hickel
Governor
33,555
26.4
2 of 5
1986
Wally Hickel
Governor
4,958
2.8
4 of 6
1986
Ed Hoch
Governor
107
0.1
6 of 6
1998
Robin Taylor
Governor
40,209
18.3
2 of 8
1998
Wayne Ross
Governor
801
0.4
7 of 8
1998
Nick Begich, Jr.
Governor
579
0.3
8 of 8
2010
Lisa Murkowski
US Senate
100,868*
39.6*
1 of 6
* Unofficial results. Sources: Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives; State of Alaska Division of Elections. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Are Democrats Becoming a Two-State Party?
Next post: Bachmann Survives Sixth Closest Victory Among 2010 Republican House Incumbents

1 Comment


  • and Senator Lisa Murkowski pulled it off despite Michelle Bachmann throwing her support behind Joe Miller.

    Michelle should leave Alaskan politics to more ethical people!

    Joe Miller was disciplined for ethics violations, he carried consumer credit card debt that equaled his yearly salary, he lied, lied about lying and then admitted he was a liar, he quit every job he held in Alaska, always taking less salary or part time work.

    Joe tried to take vacation by pretending to need medical care, when he was caught, he refused to come to work & quit....but before he quit he erased years of legal work from the Borough computer exposing the tax payers to Discovery violation fines and the possible loss of an important law suit.

    (clearly the most expensive tempur tantrum in history)

    This Alaskan hopes Michelle Bachmann shows better judgement in the beautiful State of Minnesota!

    I care because Northerners stick together...maybe because we have a bond based on a basic truth; Big Mosquitoes means Big Fish! or maybe Northern Lights are gorgeous! Southern California, great weather every day; who needs that????

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

    Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

    Political Crumbs

    Haugh to Reach New Heights

    The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting