Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Bishop eyes new Puerto Rico bill after recess Week ahead: Senate looks to wrap up energy, water spending bill MORE (R-Alaska) trails Republican primary challenger Joe Miller by less than 2,000 votes, but the senator said Wednesday she isn't giving up on the race until thousands of absentee ballots are counted.
“It ain’t over yet folks," Murkowski told reporters at her campaign headquarters Wednesday, according to the Anchorage Daily News. "There is much, much yet to be counted."
Murkowski expressed surprise that the race turned out as close as it did, telling reporters, "Clearly there was a shift, whether it was kind of the anti-incumbency feedback that you get in the Lower 48, I don’t know yet."
Murkowski deflected a question about whether she would mount an independent or third-party bid should Miller emerge the winner of the primary. But according to The Daily Beast, Murkowski advisers are mulling an independent bid.
According to the Alaska Division of Elections, just 7,600 of an expected 16,000 absentee ballots have been received by election officials.
Director of the state's Division of Elections Gail Fenumiai said officials will not count the first round of absentee ballots until Tuesday.
-Updated at 4:53 p.m.