August 31st, 2010
07:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Murkowski campaign: We could know tonight

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is currently trailing political newcomer Joe Miller in the race for the Alaska GOP Senate nomination."]
Anchorage, Alaska (CNN) - Sen. Lisa Murkowski could concede the GOP Senate primary as early as Tuesday night after election officials in Alaska finish counting the day's absentee ballots.

In an interview with CNN, Murkowski campaign spokesman Steve Wackowski was emphatic that the vote could still swing their way. "We're being hopeful, we want to make sure that all the votes are counted," he said.

But Wackowski also addressed the harsh reality that Murkowski might fall to the once lesser known, Tea Party Express-endorsed Joe Miller.

"I think we should know ... by our calculus, we should know by tonight," Wackowski said.

Wackowski was asked if Murkowski might concede the race to Miller once Tuesday's ballot counting ends. "Unfortunately we've got all our options are on the table," he lamented.

Officials with Alaska's Division of Elections spent Tuesday counting thousands of absentee ballots and looking over others that might present potential challenges. Currently, Miller leads the vote tally by just under 1,300 votes, a lead that has shrunk, slightly, since counting began in the morning.

The Murkowski campaign spokesman also took aim at forces that worked to defeat, what they saw, as a Republican senator who'd become increasingly liberal.

Regarding the Tea Party Express' endorsement of Miller, and its support on Miller's behalf, Wackowski said, "they went very negative, very fast."

The spokesman went on to accuse the group of a mass misinformation campaign about Murkowski in Alaska.

"They kind of disregarded the facts about her record...they would spat out lies and they would spat them out louder and louder and louder," Wackowski told CNN.

As an example, Wackowski said, "There's a legend out there that she opposed the repeal of 'Obamacare.' Completely not true."

And the campaign spokesman said he foresees the Tea Party movement possibly doing long-term damage to the Republican party as it drives to root out so called "RINOS ("Republicans in Name Only") in favor of more committed conservatives.

"They're spending their resources to try to take down a fellow conservative. I wish they would've stayed in California, for instance, and fought Barbara Boxer," Wackowski said.

"We've got Republicans fighting each other here, when I wish they could've unified us and we could have focused on trying to gain a majority in the U.S. Senate."

CNN contacted representatives of the Tea Party Express for reaction but did not receive an immediate response.

Filed under: 2010 • Alaska • Joe Miller • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. g

    looks like the oil company,s got there guy in place

    August 31, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Juneau AK

    The nuts are taking over. Joe Miller is Democrats best dream.

    August 31, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    A victory by Miller will give the Democrats and Sitka mayor McAdams a real shot at adding ANOTHER (D) Senator in Alaska. Love those tea-partiers!! Keep it up Sarah!!

    August 31, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. jim

    The only problem that i see is it looks like this lady is the type thaqt carries a grudge and paybacks are sometimes bad.

    August 31, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    Murkowsi could concede Alaska GOP race as early as Tuesday"......Dear CNN: Tuesday is TODAY!!

    August 31, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. reason

    The country is taking a hard right turn. There is no room for liberals or centrists who can't see what damage their massively idiotic spending has done to this country.

    You have lost your driving privileges. Now the grown ups are taking over. You children get in the back seat and SHUT UP.

    First we will fix the mess you morons have made. Then we "might" let you have a turn at the wheel but only if you stick to the path we lay out. Your way only leads to ruin.

    August 31, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. Bassman

    Lisa Murkowski has no one to blame but herself, and the votes she made. She drifted away from the Alaskan people.

    August 31, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. malabar

    Politics is dirty, dont play if u expect to stay clean. not ideal, just a fact. miller did what it takes in todays world. murkowski seemed like the naive newcomer. she should have known better. having said that. . . Palin is so hated by the Murkowski family hahaha, i wonder if theres more to the bad blood than the father appointing lisa, either way, WHO CARES?! PALIN! PALIN! PALIN!

    August 31, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Republicans are really sore losers. 'Oh, I'm not going to contest the will of the people... as long as the will of the people is me winning.' Hypocrites!

    August 31, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. diridi

    she will lose...because that idiot Mitch besides her...okay

    August 31, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |