WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) has already declared victory in her re-election for Alaska's U.S. Senate seat, but Republican Joe Miller is refusing to throw in the towel, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee is standing behind him.
"Well, there are about 31,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted, and so we obviously -- given a high percentage of military votes in those absentees -- need to wait until those are counted," said Miller Friday morning on Fox News. "And then, of course, the 81,000 write-ins as well have yet to be reviewed. So the race is not done until those ballots are counted and we see what the total is."
Miller is currently down six percentage points to Murkowski, and Democrat Scott McAdams -- who came in third place -- has already conceded.
On Tuesday, the NRSC sent out a fundraising solicitation on Miller's behalf, saying he needs the money to help counting the remaining ballots:
Joe Miller in Alaska is dedicated to the conservative principles we need in Washington DC. But he faces the potential of a lengthy recount. And in Alaska, they are still counting votes from election day. We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count. Because we need Joe to join our fight against Barack Obama.
Help ensure that this vote count is conducted fairly. Please click here to make a gift of $100, $75, $50, or $25 to Joe Miller's campaign.
We remain optimistic that we will prevail in this election. But both sides are beginning to lawyer up and prepare for any possible legal fights. Joe needs your help to make sure he has enough money to make it a fair contest.
Joe needs your help to cover the expense of legal counsel, poll watchers and volunteers. Help us ensure a fair vote count. Click here to make a donation of $100, $75, $50 or $25 today to Joe Miller's campaign.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, as of Thursday, "initial returns showed write-in ballots held a 13,439-vote edge over GOP nominee Joe Miller, but it's not clear how many of those are for Murkowski -- or how many of the ballots have been cast properly. At least 37,800 absentee, early and questioned ballots also need to be tallied."
Murkowski was the heavy establishment favorite, but she lost public backing from many of her GOP colleagues when she lost the primary and refused to get behind Miller.