Alaska Senate Race Sees Pro-Abortion Murkowski File Against Pro-Life Joe Miller
by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2010
Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) — As expected, pro-abortion Sen. Lisa Murkowski filed papers yesterday to mount a write-in campaign against pro-life Republican nominee Joe Miller. Murkowski filed the papers with the state elections office to run a write-in campaign after the upset primary election that saw Miller defeat the political giant.
Murkowski’s bid is not unexpected and she announced a month ago that she would mount the bid to retain her Senate seat, despite the endorsement of Miller by pro-life groups.
Miller, fueled by an endorsement from pro-life former Governor Sarah Palin and by strong Tea Party support, was the upset winner over Murkowski in the August primary. Despite pleas from the GOP leadership to accept the primarys verdict, Murkowksi announced a write-in campaign anyway.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters finds the ace is neck and neck between the two. It has Miller with 35% support and Murkowski with 34% of the vote. Democrat Scott McAdams runs third with 27%. One percent (1%) prefers another candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
Less than a month ago, just after Murkowski kicked off her write-in campaign, Miller earned 42% support to her 27%, with McAdams at 25%.
Even though Murkowski runs even with Miller, she likely needs to have a demonstrable lead in order to win since voters must write in her name and spell it properly for her to receive credit for the vote.
One of her ads features a girl spelling "Murkowski" in a spelling bee. And campaign news releases show a blackened oval with "Lisa Murkowski" scrawled next to it.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen talked about the difficulty of poling in a race with a write-in dynamic.
"Polling for write-in campaigns is always challenging, so results should be interpreted with caution. For this survey, Rasmussen Reports asked respondents about a choice between Miller and McAdams without mentioning Murkowski. That is the choice voters will see when they enter the voting booth," he said. "However, when response options were offered to survey respondents, Murkowskis name was mentioned."
Murkowski, in the most recent Congress, has just a 71 percent pro-life voting record, according to numbers from the National Right to Life Committee.
In January 2009, she voted against a pro-life amendment seeking to restore the Mexico City Policy President Barack Obama overturned that limits taxpayer funding of groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.
The same month, she opposed amendment to codify the "unborn child rule" and allow the State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) program to provide coverage for unborn children of poor women — helping reduce the financial reasons women say make them consider abortions.
In both votes, Murkowski was one of just four Republicans to deviate from the position of the rest of the Senate GOP caucus as dozens of other Republicans voted pro-life.
Miller hammered Murkowski about those votes during the primary race and ran on a conservative and pro-life platform that included calling for the repeal of the pro-abortion health care bill Obama signed into law. That earned him the support of pro-life former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Miller was also endorsed by Mike Huckabee, as well as pro-life talk show hosts Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham.
Murkowski’s vote against restore the Mexico City Policy appears to go against the wishes of Americans.
A July poll commissioned by ABC News and the Washington Post found Americans are increasingly disenchanted with pro-abortion President Barack Obama. By an percent margin, voters want Republicans to control Congress to keep Obama’s agenda in check.
Some 51 percent in the new ABC News/Washington Post poll would rather have the Republicans run Congress "to act as a check on Obama’s policies."
That compares with 43 percent who want Obama’s pro-abortion allies to remain in charge of Congress to further push his agenda.
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