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Alaska surprise: Another GOP incumbent goes down

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 31, 2010 10:35 PM

Entrenched GOP incumbent Bob Bennett of Utah — ousted in May by a grass-roots revolt against big government Republicanism — has company. Voters have retired liberal GOP incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. She is reportedly conceding tonight to upstart Joe Miller. It’s a big win for the Tea Party — and Sarah Palin.

Stacy McCain is liveblogging in Anchorage.

Allahpundit has a big Hot Air round-up here.

The latest from Fox News:

In a major upset, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has conceded her GOP Senate primary race to Tea Party Express favorite Joe Miller, who had the backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“I don’t see a scenario in which the primary will turn out in my favor,” Murkowski said in her concession speech.

Murkowski made the concession speech Tuesday night, a full week after the primary.

Murkowski trailed Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, by 1,668 votes after last week’s primary. Election officials began counting absentee and outstanding ballots Tuesday. Murkowski made slight gains, but was never able to get Miller’s lead below 1,200 votes.

And here’s the NYT:

Mr. Miller shocked the political establishment here and in Washington last week when he emerged with a narrow lead, 1,668 votes, after the primary vote, on Aug. 24.

Mr. Miller, who had trailed badly in local polls in the weeks before the election, benefited from a last-minute flood of advertisements, mailings and automated calls casting Ms. Murkowski as a Democrat in disguise. An abortion-related ballot measure also brought conservatives to the polls .

Ms. Murkowski’s concession followed the counting of about 16,000 additional ballots on Tuesday, which left Mr. Miller with a lead of about 1,469 votes out of about 103,000 cast. Several thousand more votes were to be counted on Friday but the trend suggested Ms. Murkowski would not gain enough ground to win.

Here’s to the growth of the liberal Republican retiree club!

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