The Tea Party Movement Has Changed The Rules in Politics

A month before the GOP Senate primary in Alaska, in which challenger Joe Miller upset incumbent Lisa Murkowski, the Anchorage Daily News reported a poll showing Murkowski leading Miller 61% to 29%. Murkowski raised at least 12 times more money than Miller in the campaign. Miller had the endorsement of Sarah Palin but the same poll reported by the Anchorage Daily News claimed that most Alaskans have an unfavorable view of Palin.

That poll seems suspect but even if wildly off base it is certain that Murkowski was favored to win. Murkowski was well-known with massive support from big industries, labor unions and trade associations. She had the endorsement of all the movers and shakers, and she was swimming in campaign cash. Miller had Sarah Palin. And the Tea Party Express. It dumped most of its money into the campaign in the last two weeks, blanketed the airwaves with ads for Miller, and Sarah and Todd Palin robo calls were singing in the phone lines.

Under the old rule of politics a candidate underwater in the polls, with little money and no big endorsements cannot recover at the last minute. Rule change, at least for now.

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