Anchorage, Alaska (CNN) – As Republican Joe Miller eyes what could be a major victory in the Alaska Senate GOP primary, the upstart candidate believes it's possible that he and national Republicans could enter the political equivalent of enemy territory.
Vote counting continues on Tuesday after the August 24 primary did not produce a clear winner between Miller and Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Before counting resumed, the incumbent Republican trailed the Tea Party Express endorsed Miller by 1,668 votes, according to unofficial results. Election officials say more than 25,000 ballots remain uncounted, the bulk of them absentee ballots and some 9,117 "questioned" ballots which may be counted or may be ruled invalid.
In a CNN interview outside his campaign office in Anchorage, Miller said he feels good about the possible outcome.
"Of the absentees, we have real confidence they'll cut our way," Miller said. "A lot of those are active duty military. We know that in the Elmendorf precinct, an air force base here in Anchorage, almost 90-percent of the votes went for us."
Miller added: "At Richardson, an army post here in Anchorage, we had almost 75-percent of the votes go towards Joe Miller. So we expect in the absentee votes a similar percentage to reflect our way which would actually widen the gap."
Miller previously accused the National Republican Senatorial Committee of meddling in the race to possibly benefit Murkowski. The candidate is now toning down claims of Republican intervention, telling CNN that NRSC Chairman Sen. John Cornyn, "Assured me that the legal team that he had sent up to Alaska was getting pulled out. I believe that happened."
But Miller acknowledged that the actions could still cause bad blood between him and the Republicans he would be working with should he win the senate seat.
"Well I think the die was kind of cast, in the sense that the [NRSC] brought a team of lawyers to Alaska against our campaign," Miller told CNN. "But frankly, I don't make enemies with anybody."
Instead of engaging in political war, Miller urged fellow Republicans to take hold of his message of limited government.
"The message that we have is a very broad-based message. I mean, it's a message that I think not only can the Republican Party embrace but, I believe, that even those outside of the Republican Party can see, I think, if you will - real salvation to the nation," Miller told CNN.
CNN contacted Murkowski's campaign but did not receive a response.
- CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Steve Brusk and Charles Riley contributed to this report