NRSC pledges neutrality in Alaska; Miller says effort to 'skew' results continues

Joe Miller, the Republican candidate poised to knock off Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) in a primary contest, said Monday he has received assurances the GOP's Senate campaign committee is removing its operatives from the state and will remain neutral.

But he maintains there is still an effort to "skew" the results in Murkowski's favor.

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After emerging from Tuesday's primary with a narrow lead over Murkowski, Miller expressed concern about a potential legal battle over the election and accused the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) of "meddling" in the contest. His comments came after the NRSC's chief counsel traveled to Alaska to assist Murkowski.

The Sarah Palin-backed candidate told ABC's "Topline" webcast Monday that he spoke with NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) over the weekend, and that he "gave me his word that he is pulling his team out."

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh affirmed that the committee would support whoever the nominee is after the winner is decided, even though its lawyer was assisting Murkowski.

"The only people who will ultimately decide this election are the voters of Alaska," said Walsh in an e-mail. "We stand ready to fully support, and help elect in November, whichever candidate is chosen as the Republican nominee. This is a Republican Senate seat and it will stay in Republican hands."

Despite Cornyn's assurance, though, Miller is still not convinced attempts to "skew" the election have ended. He said there "certainly is an effort to skew the results" in favor of Murkowski. Miller, an attorney and Iraq war veteran, said national operatives are still in the state, but he is not sure who employs them. 

The candidate said he has "confidence" in the state elections board and that "we are watching the process closely; when we see inappropriate actions taken, we file a complaint."

Murskowski called Miller's comments "blatantly false accusations" and added that "for someone who wants to be Alaska's Republican nominee for Senate, Mr. Miller is certainly afraid of Republicans."

Murkowski trails Miller by 1,668 votes in the race with ballot counting set to resume Tuesday. More than 25,000 ballots have yet to be counted, including 15,720 absentee ballots, 9,117 ballots whose validity are under review and 663 early ballots. 

-- This post was updated at 2:04 p.m.