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The Historical Odds of a Murkowski Write-in Win

Lisa Murkowski has launched a write-in bid in an effort to get re-elected to her Alaska Senate seat, even though she was defeated by Tea Party-backed Joe Miller in the Republican primary.  If history is any indication, her chances of winning by doing a write-in vote are very slim. 

Only one senator has ever been elected by a write-in vote and that was South Carolina Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond in 1954.  Even in the House of Representatives only four candidates have been elected through the write-in process since 1930, including two candidates in the 1980s. 

To make matters worse, voters wishing to vote for Sen. Murkowski must write out her name on the write-in portion of the ballet. 

House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., on “America’s Newsroom” Monday compared her bid to New York Giants frustrated running back Brandon Jacobs throwing his helmet on the sidelines and it ending up in the crowd Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts.  Rep. Pence was adamant that, “Joe Miller will be elected.”

Successful Write-in Candidates in Senate and House

• Sen. Strom Thurmond, D-S.C., 1954

• Rep. Ron Packard, R-Calif., 1982

• Rep. Joe Skeen, R-N.M., 1980

• Dale Alford, D-Ark., 1958

• Charles F. Curry, Jr., R-Calif., 1930