“Political courage or just plain crazy.”

That’s the explanation Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski gives for why, against her party’s wishes, she waged a write-in campaign to hang on to her U.S. Senate seat.lisa

The ballots are still being counted but Murkowski looks set to make history as the first senator to be elected in a write-in campaign since Strom Thurmond in 1954.

“This is a whole new world for me and a whole new world for my colleagues,” Murkowski said in an interview with Katie Couric on CBS on Monday.

Murkowski has made a stunning comeback after being  defeated in Alaska’s Republican Senate primary election by Tea Party favorite and Sarah Palin-endorsed Joe Miller.

“I do not pass the purity test that the Tea Party has set out. It’s as simple as that,” Murkowski said. “But I don’t think most people in my state pass that.”