Felling: Despite criticism, Senate Republicans not yet betting against Murkowski

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Former Alaska journalist-turned Washington D.C. strategist and columnist Matthew Felling says that despite criticism from President Trump over her vote on the confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Republicans likely aren't betting against Sen. Lisa Murkowski any time soon.

Felling, currently a Senior Director at Burson-Marstellar and columnist for the Washington Examiner, who also previously served as Communications Director for Sen. Murkowski, spoke with Maria Downey Thursday about Murkowski's prospects going forward.

"The top takeaway most Alaskans need to know is that Mitch McConnell is a chess master, and Mitch McConnell sees the long game," Felling said.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) told Associated Press "She's about as strong as you can possibly be in Alaska. Nobody's going to beat her."

McConnell's full-throated defense followed criticism of Murkowski by the President over the weekend, who told The Washington Post “I think the people from Alaska will never forgive her for what she did.”

"I know Alaska's political terrain better than he does," Murkowski told reporters Wednesday in response to the President's comments after a meeting with McConnell.

"They respect Lisa," Felling said of Senate Republicans. "She's been there in the office for quite awhile. And they also acknowledge that in this close, nip and tuck senate, they need every vote, so a grudge won't work for anybody."

You can watch the full interview here.

Felling's latest column in the Washington Examiner, 2018 midterm election coverage: How to see past the media spin, poses a useful guide for news consumers heading into the midterms.

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