Incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski was thought to be a big favorite coming into Tuesday's primary against Sarah Palin-backed challenger Joe Miller. But with over half the vote in, Miller holds a slight lead over the incumbent, 52 to 48 percent with a little over 2,000 votes separating the two.
Because Alaska has such a far flung population, Murkowski could still pull ahead.
But the fact that Miller's is at the very least putting up a stiff fight is enormous testimony to the power of Sarah Palin.
Because of Sarah Palin's support, Joe Miller is a player. Without her support, he's just another clueless wing nut who wants to invade Canada over socialized medicine.
And Palin didn't have to do much.
If I remember right, Palin put up a couple of posts on facebook and recorded a robocall on his behalf on Monday. I don't think she made any public appearances with Miller or traveled with him around the state.
Sarah Palin is not exactly known for her work ethic and here she barely lifted a finger for Miller.
But, such as they were, Palin's token efforts still put Miller into play.
This all reminds me of a comment on Ben Franklin's attempt to change Pennsylvania from a proprietorship to a royal colony in the 1750's. Franklin wanted to end the proprietorship as a way to eliminate the influence of William Penn's descendants on Pennsylvania affairs.
But one of Franklin's opponents claimed something to the effect that "the little finger of the king weighs more than the loins of the proprietor."
Sarah Palin's little finger has a lot of weight as well.