National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) spoke with Joe Miller over the weekend and assured him that the NRSC will stay neutral in the Alaska GOP Senate primary and support whoever wins, according to Republican sources.
Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, led Sen. Lisa Murkowski by nearly 1,700 votes with all precincts reporting following last Tuesday's primary election in Alaska. The state this week is set to begin counting around 20,000 additional ballots, including absentee ballots and others referred to as questionable.
NRSC chief counsel Sean Cairncross was on the ground in Alaska for three days last week, but has since returned to Washington, D.C. He traveled at Murkowski's request, and offered her campaign team general advice. But sources say the NRSC is not coordinating with her. It also isn't participating in the vote count or in any future recounts.
Republican sources contend that Miller is trying to use the NRSC as a foil to fuel fundraising and support for his candidacy. Some of Miller's supporters have charged the NRSC with meddling in the pending absentee ballot count.
In fact, one reason Cairncross returned to Washington so quickly was to ensure that the NRSC's actions would not be misinterpreted.