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Wed Sep 14, 2016, 08:46 PM

Miller complicates Senate race, opens door for Dems

With Joe Miller now on the ballot in the Alaska U.S. Senate race as a "sort-of" Libertarian, Democrats nationally and locally can seize a major opportunity if they wake up and act soon enough, which seems unlikely.

Miller has a renewed base with the Trump candidacy that will make him a close, maybe winning contender for Sen. Murkowski's seat. You may recall Miller actually defeated Lisa Murkowski in the last Republican primary only to be overcome when she launched a write-in candidacy. Mr. Miller belongs to the right-wing fringe of the Republican Party though, who knows, it may be closer to center in Alaska. Many Alaskans have assumed that Mr. Miller was permanently put out of action by his defeat and the publicity concerning his disqualifications that accompanied the final campaign. But things change.

National polls show Donald Trump winning Alaska over Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump is the candidate of the Republican far right. Sen. Murkowski has shown at least mild disapproval of Mr. Trump. As an enthusiastic supporter, Joe Miller is positioned to be the "Trump candidate," coming into office riding his tail feathers.

As Alaska Dispatch News columnist Dermot Cole has pointed out (Sept. 9), the Democrats have been caught flat-footed by this development. Leading figures in the Democratic Party figured no way was a Democrat going to beat Sen. Murkowski and passed on their own party's nomination. The Democratic Senate nomination thus went to Mr. Metcalfe, a "what-the-hell, why not?" candidate burdened with major political liabilities but with more name recognition than another minor opponent also sharing a Republican background.

Read more: http://www.adn.com/opinions/2016/09/13/millers-entry-scrambles-alaskas-us-senate-race/

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