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Starting Lineup: Whip Up

Murkowski's Rural Focus: Don't miss this Anchorage Daily News story on how Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) effectively targeted rural Alaska with her write-in campaign against Republican Joe Miller. "The math is striking. Five rural voting districts -- regions that voted to reject Murkowski for Senate just six years ago -- gave the Republican incumbent as much as 60 percent of her current lead over Miller. Miller, who is in second place by 13,400 votes, is losing by about 8,000 votes in [five] districts alone." Alaska is set to begin reviewing all the write-in ballots this week. Ralston's Take: Nevada politics guru Jon Ralston is up with a post -mortem of the Nevada Senate race that is well worth a read. Ralston says that the race all came down to the campaign operation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "The Reid organization's Terminator-like single-mindedness, relentlessness and discipline turned preparation into the most satisfying victory of Reid's career, a resurrection unthinkable most of the year by the Beltway cognoscenti. Combined with an Angle campaign that was thoroughly unprepared for the post-primary onslaught -- think of a Little League batter facing Roy Halladay -- that by the time the GOP nominee brought in some D.C. pros, the damage was insurmountable."

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