Jonathan Chait

The Wild Alaska Senate Race

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According to CNN, a new poll shows Miller 38, Murkowski 36, McAdams 22.

Daniel Foster, referring to the fact that Murkowski requires write-in votes to spell her name correctly, asks, "have they polled how well Murkowsky does against Miller?" It's an important issue. I'm not normally in the business of advising politicians, but if I'm Murkowski, I use this slogan and beat it to death: Murkowski with an I. The I is for "independent."

Update: In fact, voters don't need to spell her name correctly, or even close to correctly. Here's Alexa Tsoulis-Reay:

Most statesincluding Alaskadon't have hard-and-fast criteria for determining whether a certain spelling is acceptable. Instead, they use a subjective model wherein election officials must attempt to decipher whom, exactly, each voter intended to elect. For example, California law states that the spelling must bear "a reasonable resemblance to the qualified candidate's name" (PDF) and that "no other write-in candidate … has a name so similar to the name as written in as to leave reasonable doubt as to the voter's intention." (In Alaska, the elections director has said that Lisa M. would pass muster as a stand-in for Lisa Murkowski, but that Lisa on its own might cause problems.)

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