Politics & Policy

GOP Giving up on Miller, Supporting Murkowski?

ABC’s Jonathan Karl is reporting that a “high-level GOP source” told him that the Republican party had “essentially given up” on Republican senate candidate Joe Miller and consider Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has said she will caucus with the GOP if elected, as the party’s best chance of keeping the seat. From Karl’s report:

With Miller’s campaign faltering, the source tells me that Republican leaders are now worried that Democrat Scott McAdams has a shot of winning and that Murkowski may be the only way to stop him. …

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been forced to spend precious resources in Alaska.  But take a look at the latest ad running in Alaska:  It spends 25 seconds attacking Democrat McAdams and less than five seconds mentioning Joe Miller.

If the NRSC really wanted to help Miller, it would be attacking Murkowski.  Indeed, an anti-McAdams ad may be the last thing Miller needs right now.  At this point, what he really needs is for McAdams to siphon anti-Miller votes away from Murkowski.

UPDATE: On ABC’s The Week this morning, host Christine Amanpour asked NRSC chairman Sen. John Cornyn about Karl’s report that the GOP had given up on Miller. “Well, that’s not the case,” responded Cornyn. “We, what we have done, we are supporting the nominee of our party, which is Mr. Miller … but are concerned.”

When Amanpour asked if Miller could win, Cornyn hedged. “Well, I think that polls are very close now between Senator Murkowski and Joe Miller,” he said, “and what we want to make sure of is that the Democrat doesn’t win … in November.”

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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