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The midterms: Murkowski concedes to Miller

ALASKA: After failing to close the gap on lawyer Joe Miller after two-thirds of the state’s absentee votes were counted, “Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) conceded her primary race Tuesday night, becoming the third senator to lose renomination this year and the second to lose a primary.”

The Anchorage Daily News: “Murkowski's concession came after a day of counting just over 17,000 absentee and questioned ballots. Nearly 12,000 of them were from Republican primary voters, who had the potential to change the Miller-Murkowski race. But when the day was done, Murkowski had only picked up 38 votes and Miller's lead was 1,630 votes. He had a total of 52,988 votes to 51,358 for Murkowski.”

FLORIDA: After losing his Democratic Senate primary last week, Jeff Greene is now suing two state papers for libel, the New York Times says. “A libel suit is a rare step for a political figure. While many candidates complain about unfair news coverage, few go as far as making their complaints a legal case. But Mr. Greene, who has deep pockets and apparently the wherewithal to pursue the case all the way to trial, has proved he is no ordinary politician.” Greene will have to prove the papers acted with malice.

MASSACHUSETTS: The Utility Workers of America Local 369, which supported Gov. Deval Patrick in 2006, now backs his rival, independent Tim Cahill, the Boston Herald reports.

MINNESOTA: A union switch in the North Star State, too: “The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Monday announced it had given DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton its endorsement,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes. “The endorsement is a party switch for the federation -- in 2002 and 2006 it endorsed Republican Tim Pawlenty.’

NEVADA: On news that Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, donated $14,000 to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election, the Washington Post’s Klein comments that “[t]ales of the rift between [Lieberman] and his former party seem increasingly overstated.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE: “New Hampshire Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne goes up today with his first commercial of the Republican primary campaign – a lively, positive spot that sets Lamontagne apart from his bitterly feuding rivals, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and self-funder Bill Binnie,” Politico writes.

PENNSYLVANIA: In the Senate race between Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey, “A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 407 likely voters conducted over the weekend shows Toomey's lead to be even greater: he leads that poll 47-37,” Talking Points Memo writes.

WASHINGTON: “Sen. Patty Murray, the fourth-ranking Democrat in Senate leadership, recently aired a TV ad attacking Republican opponent Dino Rossi for taking campaign donations from corporate lobbyists at a Beltway fundraiser earlier this summer,” however, Real Clear Politics points out, “Murray has her own connection to lobbyists: About a dozen former high-level staffers to Murray now serve in high-profile lobbying jobs. More than a quarter of Murray's campaign kitty this cycle has come from PACs.”

WISCONSIN: The New York Times’ Zeleny profiles the state’s Senate contest. “Wisconsin is more divided politically than it is often perceived, given its well-known progressive streak. But Mr. Feingold’s own polling — in line with the judgment of independent analysts — shows him in a unexpectedly tough race against a neophyte Republican opponent. His challenger has so far spent three times as much as he has, the economy remains lackluster and Mr. Feingold is facing disillusionment with Democratic policies.”