Thousand of ballots remain to be examined in the 2010 Senate race, but it is almost certain incumbent Lisa Murkowski will prevail wearing the mantle of write-in. Some of her ballots will be thrown out because of voter error but not enough for Joe Miller to win.
As of Monday, Miller had captured 11 of the state's 40 election districts and one major city -- Fairbanks. He took but one district in Anchorage, the Elmendorf/Fort Richardson/Eagle River area, which had the lowest turnout in the state.
Lisa Murkowski routed him in Bush Alaska, especially Districts 37-40 in the western and northern part of the state. Joe Miller did not capture a single precinct along an arc extending from the Aleutian Islands to Barrow. Neither did Democrat Scott McAdams. The Alaska Federation of Natives saw to that through their get-out-the-vote campaign.
Yes, AFN played a big role in Murkowski's victory and has much to celebrate. The rural vote was critical, producing more than half of Murkowski's current lead. But Bush turnout was not unusually high. Only District 39 (around Nome) ranked among the top 10 districts in turnout, with 47.5 percent as of Monday.
Another group vital to Murkowski was urban college-educated Democratic and independent women. Murkowski targeted them with mailers and other advertising depicting Joe Miller as, not to put too fine a point on it, a male chauvinist pig.
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