If history is any indication, Lisa Murkowski has a snowball's chance in hell of keeping her seat: The only write-in candidate ever elected to the US Senate was Strom Thurmond, in 1954. Which makes it fairly remarkable that plenty of people—from analysts to Alaska Republicans—think she could pull this thing off. Since Tea Partier Joe Miller defeated her in the primary, Murkowski has refashioned herself, projecting the image, not of a peripheral loser, but of "renegade underdog," notes the New York Times.
On her side: a well-known name, a good deal of cash—some $1 million, with plans to double that, and the knowledge that comes from having made a few mistakes. She now has a campaign office, something she didn't bother to open before the primary, and is shaking up her staff, bringing back veterans of her 2004 campaign. She also has a last name that's a little tricky to spell: She says her campaign is considering rubber bracelets that would give voters a helping hand when they go to, hopefully, spell it out on the ballot.