Murkowski hints: Maybe I won’t caucus with the GOP after all; Update: Murkowski says she'll caucus with GOP

The money quote: “I’m not my party’s nominee right now. In a way, that’s really very liberating – to know that I’m going back, truly representing all of Alaska’s interests, not necessarily just my party.” If you’re wondering why she’s suddenly flirting with full independence after insisting all along that she’ll remain a Republican, let PPP help you out. Final poll: Miller 37, Murkowski 30, McAdams 30.

It appears that Murkowski will lose this race. There are 2 main reasons for that. The first is that she retained little goodwill from Republicans after deciding to make an independent bid. Only 27% of GOP voters are planning to vote for her on Tuesday, down from 31% from a PPP poll earlier in October. The second reason Murkowski’s headed for a loss is that she failed to dominate with independents. She is slightly ahead with them, getting 34% to 32% for McAdams and 31% for Miller. But they’re not providing her with a strong base of support the way Democrats are for McAdams and Republicans for Miller.

Just like her doppelganger Charlie Crist, playing both sides of the fence has caused her to hemorrhage Republican support without picking up the Democratic/indie support that she needs. No one likes a power-hungry opportunist, so now her best bet is to try to convince Democrats that McAdams is doomed and she’s the only game in town if they want to stop Miller. Think this new poll indicating that she’s tied with Miller is going to help?

Honestly, the numbers in this race have been so screwy and contradictory over the past few weeks, I’m prepared for literally any outcome. McAdams wins, followed by Miller and Murkowski? Could be! Miller wins, with McAdams and Murkowski a distant second and third? Not unlikely! Murkowski wins, with Miller a close second and McAdams an also ran? Sure, why not! Exit question: If daddy’s little senator pulls it out, are we going to see that independent Senate caucus that I wrote about a few weeks ago? Hmmmm.

Update: Ah, life as an independent, forever trying to please both sides.

“I have caucused with the Republicans in the past, I will be caucusing with the Republicans when I go back in January,” said Murkowski in a phone interview, responding to recent news reports speculating whether she’d buck the party, and comments Murkowski made over the weekend saying that if elected, she would represent Alaska before the Republican Party…

“I’m not sure why they were confusing, I have made it very clear throughout: I have not changed my party registration throughout this candidacy,” she said.