Miller compares a third-party Murkowski bid to prostitution

Upstart candidate Joe Miller, who is poised to defeat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary in Alaska, compared a potential third-party bid by his opponent to prostitution.

Miller took to his campaign Twitter account Friday, writing: "What's the difference between selling out your party's values and the oldest profession? http://bit.ly/93kXBr"

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Shortly thereafter, the message was removed from his site. 

Murkowski demanded an apology from Miller. "They lied about my record during the primary and now they have resorted to name-calling--it’s disgusting," Murkowski said in a statement Friday. "Mr. Miller owes all Alaskans, women and my family an apology.” 

After a contentious primary campaign, in which former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Miller over Murkowski, the Iraq war veteran holds a narrow lead over the incumbent, with absentee ballots still being counted.

Miller linked to an article about the close vote count, and the possibility of Murkowski running as a Libertarian Party candidate if she does not secure the GOP nomination.

Murkowski and Palin have notably traded jabs, with the 2008 vice presidential nominee attacking Murkowski as a creature of Washington who was appointed to her seat by her father, former Gov. Frank Murkowski. The senator later decried Palin's comments as personal.

On Thursday, Miller expressed fear that Murkowski would attempt to launch a protracted legal battle to save her seat after a high-powered lawyer from the GOP's Senate campaign committee traveled to the state to work on her behalf. 

Miller also accused the National Republican Senatorial Committee of "meddling in our primary election."

Miller later apologized on Twitter, saying a staffer put up the message.

"Please accept my apologies. Staffer trying to encourage Libertarians not to sell out. http://bit.ly/93kXBr"

h/t Justin Elliott

-- This post was updated at 10:50 p.m.