Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) conceded her primary race Tuesday night after she failed to close the gap on attorney Joe Miller in the ongoing vote-counting process.Murkowski's dad was the sitting governor who Sarah Palin beat, so there's not a lot of love lost between those two Alaska political families. For awhile there it looked like Murkowski might try a third party bid, but she seems to have given that up, and that's good for everybody.
Murkowski gained 199 votes on Tuesday, but she came up well shy of what she needs to win her party's nomination.
With new votes tallied across the state, Murkowski cut her deficit, but she still trailed Miller by 1,469 votes after approximately 15,000 ballots were counted Tuesday. Another 10,000 or so are to be counted later.
By conceding, Murkowski becomes the third incumbent senator to lose re-nomination this year and the second to lose a primary. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) lost a primary in April, while Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) fell at his party's May convention.
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and thanks Glenn!
UPDATE 2: Larry Sabato adds this via Twitter:
AK SEN: With LisaM bowing out, Miller is R nominee. Likely R in Nov. Very doubtful McAdams(D) can beat Miller unless R self-destructs.Sarah Palin adds this via Twitter:
Do you believe in miracles?! http://u.nu/72z2f Congratulations, @JoeWMiller! Thank you for your service, Sen. Murkowski. On to November!John Hawkins is perhaps a little less gracious:
Sarah Palin blasted Lisa "RINO" Murkowski's political career like it was a wolf running from her helicopter & I love it!Both Bob Bennett, defeated in Utah earlier this year, and Murkowski whose Senate career effectively ends tonight, were part of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's inner circle. He's gonna have to start looking for some conservative friends...or the conservatives will start looking for a new Minority...or possibly Majority...Leader.
Larry Sabato again:
Miller, Lee, Paul, Buck, Angle...Friends of Mitch McConnell, early Christmas gift idea: Case of Extra Strength Excedrin.