Sen. Lisa Murkowski isn’t worried her vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will permanently damage her political standing back home, despite a tweet from President Trump warning the Alaska Republican “will never recover.”
Murkowski told reporters Wednesday she doesn’t know if she will seek another term in 2020 but isn’t particularly worried about voters in her state, or what Trump thinks. “I know Alaska’s political terrain better than he does,” Murkowski said in response to the Trump warning.
Murkowski is famously resilient politically. She won re-election in 2010 as a write-in candidate, without the help of the Republican Party, after losing in the GOP primary to a Tea Party candidate. Murkowski won re-election in 2016 by 15 points, with 44 percent of the vote.
The senator is not particularly worried about Trump’s tweet or comments he may make in the future about her vote. “My barometer is not necessarily what the president says but what the people of Alaska say,” Murkowski said.
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Murkowski, the only GOP lawmaker to vote against Kavanaugh, said Alaskans were split on his nomination and she continues to get calls from supporters and opponents of her vote.
“I did my due diligence,” Murkowski said, explaining her vote. “I agonized, I considered, and ultimately I had a decision to make that was based on the best judgment that I had, and I had to follow my conscience. I did that, and I’m good where my conscience has taken me.”
Murkowski’s popularity is bolstered by longtime family ties to Alaska.
Her father, Frank, was the former governor and also held the same Senate seat.
Murkowski could face a formidable opponent in Sarah Palin, who was also governor and the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.
Palin hinted in a tweet before the vote she might run against Murkowski. “I can see 2022 from my house,” Palin tweeted recently.