It sounds like Lisa Murkowski will do every thing she can to remain in the Senate. According to the Anchorage Daily News, indications are that she is prepared to launch a write-in campaign this evening (announcement will be around 9 pm Eastern):
Lisa Murkowski supporters are urging people to come out tonight for what’s being called a “campaign kick off,” although her campaign manager isn’t ready to say that she’s decided to run.
Bonnie Jack, who was a Murkowski campaign elections observer for the count of absentee votes, sent out an email this morning. “Join us at the Kick-off of Senator Lisa’s campaign — with a theme of “write in her name in and fill in the oval.”
Murkowski recently narrowly lost the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller. Since then, Murkowski has been reviewing her options. With none of the minor parties willing to give her their ballot line and the deadline to file as an independent passed her only two options remain: accept forced early retirement or mount a write-in campaign. It appears she is going with that latter.
Murkowski lost the Republican primary because hardcore conservatives turned on her, but overall, she remains fairly popular with a broad swath of the electorate. Despite that, I still think winning a write-in campaign would an insanely difficult task and I think her chance of winning are remote. The list of successful statewide write-in campaigns in America is very short.
At the very least, it should make the race extremely interesting. Early polling indicates Murkowski running as a write-in would slightly hurt Democrat Scott McAdams, but I won’t put much stock in that until I at least see the focus of Murkowski’s potential campaign. It is possible with Miller and Murkowski splitting the Republican vote, it might allow McAdams to win a narrow plurality with made up entirely of committed Democrats.