Murkowski was defeated in the Republican primary in August by tea party candidate Joe Miller, who Murkowski subsequently refused to endorse. At the news that Murkowski would take up her campaign again, Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer expressed shock to CNN, saying ""She was fired by the people. The people were given a choice and they voted for somebody else."
Palin told reporters after her speech in Des Moines, Iowa, ""It's a futile effort on her part, it really is." Palin added, "Joe Miller is the right person to lead the state and this country."
Murkowski conducted a brief, and ultimately unsuccessful, flirtation with the Alaska Libertarian Party in the wake of her highly-publicized defeat to Joe Miller. Polls showed that, as a Libertarian, she could poll close to Republican candidate Joe Miller (and both would handily defeat Democratic candidate Scott McAdams), but there's been little precedent for determining the ultimate success of a write-in candidate.
The New York Times reported earlier today that, unlike in some other write-in challenged, Alaska state elections director Gail Fenumiai would take a liberal view of attempts to spell Murkowski's name: "If I can determine voter intent, then the ballot would be counted accordingly," she wrote.