GOP Ad Boosting Miller Avoids His Alaska Opponents

Posted October 20, 2010 at 3:34pm

Updated: 7:20 p.m.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched a 30-second independent expenditure TV ad across Alaska that criticizes Democratic leaders and promotes GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller.

The Fairbanks attorney is in a tight three-way battle with incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), who is running as a write-in candidate, and Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D). Miller’s lead in the polls has contracted in recent weeks as he has stumbled on the campaign trail, prompting the NRSC to get involved.

Recent surveys have ranked Murkowski as a close second to Miller, with McAdams also gaining. But the NRSC spot spares them from attacks, choosing instead to hit President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). After opening with critiques of Obama, Pelosi and Democratic policies including the health care overhaul, the ad says Miller “will stand up for us and fight back against big government intervention.”

“They’re out of control,” the ad’s female narrator says over a picture of Obama and Pelosi. “Government takeovers, Wall Street bailouts and ObamaCare. They raise taxes by $500 billion, then told us we get fined if we don’t buy health insurance. They want to tell us how to live. To stop them, we need Joe Miller.”

The NRSC is in a difficult spot strategically, given the odd nature of the Alaska race. Murkowski appears to be Miller’s biggest obstacle to victory if her showing in surveys translates into voters writing in her name. But a Murkowski win equals a Republican hold, which might make targeting her in an independent expenditure ad dicey.

A new CNN-Time-Opinion Research poll released Wednesday afternoon showed Murkowski and Miller tied, 37-37. McAdams trailed by double digits with 23 percent of the vote. Murkowski apparently liked the results, sending supporters a text message with the “breaking news” about the poll. She texted, “Tell 10 friends that we are making history!”