With all precincts reporting, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski trails primary challenger Joe Miller by less than 2,000 votes—an upset that many are crediting to Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Miller. (The official results of the election won’t be known for awhile, as Alaska will have to count some 8,000 absentee ballots.) Did Sarah Palin really make a difference? She’s not exactly popular in her home state—a poll in April showed 52 percent of Alaskans have an unfavorable view of her, as opposed to 46 percent who have a favorable view. But voters in the Republican primary are likely to have fallen into the “favorable view” group, as 71 percent of registered Republicans held a favorable view of Palin at the time. Miller credited Palin’s endorsement for his upset, saying “I’m absolutely certain that it was pivotal.” Chris Cillizza writes, “The simple truth made apparent … is that primaries are a difficult thing to predict due to the outsized influence a relatively small group of energized supporters can have on a race.” With only 100,000 people voting, something like Palin’s endorsement can really make a difference.