The race has rankled tea partiers and establishment Republicans alike. Murkowski stepped down from her leadership post after losing the primary, but the Senate GOP caucus decided to let her keep her ranking member position on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn continues to say the committee is fully supporting Miller’s candidacy, even though a Republican will win the seat no matter who ends up on top. That puts Cornyn in an increasingly difficult position, as he juggles loyalties between conservative activists that support Miller, the party’s nominee, and Murkowski, a well-liked Republican colleague who appears to be coming back for another six years.
Cornyn sent a fundraising solicitation for Miller on Friday, and according to the Associated Press, Miller said the NRSC has committed $20,000 for his legal costs. Murkowski was in Washington this week to raise money for a fund that would pay for lawyers and other expenses associated with the counting process.
Murkowski campaign spokesman Kevin Sweeney questioned the NRSC’s decision to back Miller’s post-election efforts, since both candidates are Republicans.