Palin Tries to Save Joe Miller in Alaska

Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, who knocked off Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska GOP primary, has made a mess of his run by trying to cover up prior on the job malfeasance, allowing now write-in candidate Murkowski to take the lead. Sarah Palin is trying to save his candidacy, starting with a rally last night.

Palin avoided using Murkowski's name in addressing the hundreds of people gathered in Anchorage for a "Change D.C." rally but it was clear who she meant. In describing Miller's two chief rivals in the race, she said one is an "out of touch liberal" and the other was mayor of Sitka. The latter is Democrat Scott McAdams.

"Let's send Joe Miller to the United States Senate to shake it up," she called out to cheers, adding later: "Let's restore America with honor."

 

The rally coincides with the release of a new poll by the Hays Research Group that shows Miller trailing Murkowski, who is running as a write-in candidate, and Democratic challenger Scott McAdams. The poll found write-in candidates... with 34 percent of the vote; McAdams with 29 percent; and Miller with 23 percent.

 

Even though Murkowski has pulled ahead, it's hard to know how that support will translate into votes since voters have to remember to write her name in, a challenge they don't face in the polling process. Expect the results out of Alaska to take a while to tally - weeks, perhaps.

While Palin's support gave Miller a boost in the Republican primary, she has kept a relatively low profile in her home state race. Until now, that is. Palin re-emerged this week, taking to Twitter and Facebook to defend Miller's record and to drum up support for his campaign.

It's interesting to see Palin actually throwing herself into the fray - and putting her political capital on the line for real. Even though she got lots of credit for the Miller primary win, her involement in his campaign was minimal. But Sarah challenged and beat Lisa's father in her run for Governor, so there's bad blood.

Palin accused Murkowski of contesting "the will of the people" by running as a write-in candidate after Miller's surprise primary victory.