Alaska Senate Battle: Joe Miller, Lisa Murkowski Dig In for a Fight
Incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is sounding triumphant this week after her write-in re-election campaign in Alaska, but her Republican challenger Joe Miller isn't ready to give up the fight just yet.
"It's been a David and Goliath battle from the very start," Miller said on Fox and Friends this morning, noting that his campaign team will ensure that all the ballots are properly counted.
Murkowski is presumed to have the lead in the race, in which more than 83,000 write-in ballots were cast. It's unclear at this point how many of those ballots were cast for Murkowski , however. Additionally, Miller said this morning, he expects about 7 percent of the write-in ballots to be disqualified. The Democrat in the race, Scott McAdams, has conceded after coming in behind Miller and the write-in ballots. Officials will start tallying the write-in ballots on Wednesday.
On top of that, the state must count at least 37,800 absentee, early and questioned ballots. As an Army veteran, Miller says he believes he will do well among military absentee voters, and overseas absentee ballots have until Nov. 17 to arrive. (See current Alaska results here.)
With a potential legal battle brewing, both sides are amassing their resources. Murkowski's website urges visitors to "Help us protect Lisa's historic victory!"
"It's not over yet!" reads Miller's campaign website, soliciting donations to "fight for conservative votes."
Miller may also receive financial support from Republican Sen. Jim DeMint's political action committee, the Hill reports, to help with "what is expected to be a costly and drawn-out ballot-counting process." Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is also urging his supporters to donate to Miller.
The Miller campaign is already in a combative mode, questioning why the state will start counting the write-in ballots next week -- earlier than originally scheduled.
On a conference call Thursday, Politics Daily reports, Miller accused Alaska's lieutenant governor, Craig Campbell, of bias. Campbell will lead the vote-counting operation.
"He was appointed by Murkowski... has connections to the Murkowski family," Miller reportedly said on the call. "In fact, when he, last summer, spoke at the time Sean Parnell was sworn-in as governor, spent five or ten minutes praising the Murkowski Family. It was really kind of a curious thing given the lack of popularity at the time of Frank Murkowski."
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