Bombshell: Alaska Libertarian Party says no to nominating Murkowski

They met earlier but wouldn’t tell the media what decision they reached. Eric Dondero, who’s been tapped into libertarian circles for ages, says he’s got the scoop, though. Amazing:

On Sunday morning, over coffee and donuts, the ExComm voted unanimously, 5 to 0 to deny the Senator the ballot line. There was no malice intended. ALP Chair Kohlhaas has repeatedly stated that she is a nice lady, and the ALP was flattered by the offer.

The meeting was contentious at first. Two board members who were clearly on the Tea Party friendly Joe Miller side were combative before they realized that the other three board members agreed with them on the essentials. At a number of points the meeting even digressed into name-calling. The ‘F’ bomb was even tossed around a number of times. One board member was hellbent on holding an immediate statewide meeting open to full membership or registered Libertarians to decide the matter. That idea was shot down 4 to 1.

The vote on Murkowski was taken at about halfway through the meeting which lasted a total of 3 hours. After the result was clear, tempers calmed down, and the 5 member board moved forward with plans on how to announce the results to the media.

Hotline has confirmed it with the ALP. Kohlhaas sure did sound excited about this idea just three days ago, going so far as to say “in terms of morale for our Party a state [senator] would be a real gain for us.” I guess they figured that backing a centrist over a more libertarian type like Joe Miller would lose them more credibility in the state than they’d gain by electing Senator LINO. Or maybe, true to libertarian form, they care more about principle than, er, ever winning an election. Good news for Miller fans either way.

I wanted to write about this PPP poll from over the weekend showing Miller narrowly leading Murkowski in a three-way race, but it’s garbage now. Her only options are winning the GOP nomination outright via the absentees or running a write-in campaign, where she’s bound to do far worse than if she were on the ballot on the Libertarian line. The good news for Miller fans? Apparently the pressure on the NRSC has worked and they’re pulling their team out of Alaska; from now on, says Cornyn, they’re neutral all the way. The bad news? Thanks to Murkowski’s lead in early voting and the fact that more absentee ballots come from her districts than from Miller’s, there’s reason to believe she can still make up the difference in the primary. And even if Miller does hold on to win, the fact that he’s little-known and toxic to many of Murkowski’s supporters means the seat is now in play. Per that PPP poll, Murkowski would crush the Democratic nominee, Scott McAdams, 60/28; Miller, however, is a different story. Quote:

Miller leads Scott McAdams 47-39. McAdams is counteracting several of the trends causing Democrats trouble across the country this year. He’s running even with independents at 42% and he’s benefiting from a more unified party, getting 81% of the Democratic vote while just 73% of Republicans are committed to Miller. In most states that equation would be enough for the lead but in Alaska, where there’s an 18 point Republican party identification advantage, it leaves McAdams running behind.

Irony of ironies, if Miller wins the primary then the one person in Alaska who can probably guarantee his victory in the general is … Lisa Murkowski, by endorsing him and asking her supporters to back him in a show of party unity. (She has major centrist appeal, drawing 38 percent of indies, 32 percent of Republicans, and even 27 percent of Democrats in a three-way race.) Think Murky will be willing to put all this behind her and help the GOP by declaring “It’s Miller time” in Alaska? I’m thinking … no.

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