Shocker in Alaska: Sitting Senator on the verge of being ousted in GOP primary

Yesterday, primary elections were held in Florida, Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) easily won his primary battle against former GOP Rep. and conservative talk-show host J.D. Hayworth 56% to 32% (a third candidate received 12%). McCain’s chances were touch and go (according to some early polls and the media) at first, but with his massive war chest and some big mistakes on the part of Hayworth, the election became fairly lopsided affair.

The biggest surprise of the night happened in Alaska of all places.  Incumbent GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski (daughter of the former AK Governor) is on the verge of being defeated by relative newcomer Joe Miller.With 98% of precincts reporting Miller leads by just under 2,000 votes with about 90,000 cast. Miller ran to Murkowski’s right and had the support of tea party activists.  Sarah Palin also endorsed his campaign. This result was so shocking because none of the publicly release polls showed the race tightening in any way.

The result confirms the strong anti-incumbent fervor in the US right now that will continue all the way to the mid-terms in November.

David Coletto is CEO of Abacus Data and leads its Public Affairs research practice. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University.

Contact David Coletto:

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