Tea Party Express hoping to help Joe Miller catch up to Murkowski

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Can the Tea Party Express do it again?

The group that had a large role in transforming Sharron Angle from a single-digit long-shot to the eventual Republican victor in the Nevada GOP Senate primary has their eyes focused on another insurgent candidate: Alaska’s Joe Miller, who has his work cut out for him if he has any illusion of defeating Republican Sen. Lisa Mukowski in this month’s primary.

A poll last month, for example, showed Murkowski handily defeating Miller 62 percent to his 30 percent. Miller was endorsed by Sarah Palin, but the self-described Tea Partier running against an incumbent with one of the most well-known names in Alaska could use some more recognition.

That’s a problem that the Tea Party Express saw in regards to Angle, and now sees in Miller. “Yes, it’s very similar — the hurdles that Miller must overcome are in many ways similar to those of Sharron Angle,” said Joe Wierzbicki, the coordinator of the Tea Party Express.

The strategy of the Tea Party Express, who just announced this week that they are airing two commercials in support of Miller, is simple: hammer Murkowski enough and help introduce Miller to voters who don’t know him yet. Their goal is to make it a 10 point race, where Miller is only 10 points down in the polls with 10 days left to go in primary. “That means we have until now and August 14th to keep making up ground and building support for Miller’s candidacy,” said Wierzbicki.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Miller, who over the last 24-hours went door-to-door in Anchorage, dismissed recent polling showing him down, though pointed out that the numbers show a majority of those who know of him are supporting him.

Still, he said the focus “is not in the numbers,” but in what he’s seeing out on the campaign trail.

He’s hammering Murkowski, whose campaign did not immediately return a request for comment, for “her failure to stand up to Obama,” but says it’s a challenge considering her large war chest.

“People are fed up with the state of government,” he said by phone, while driving in Alaska. “Once they hear they’ve got a good option to the business as usual crowd in DC, they’re excited to vote for it.”

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