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Monday, October 25, 2010 - 10:05am

Joe Miller Tells Alaskan Voters He's 'Like Them'

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller may not be of Washington but it appears if he wins a seat on Capitol Hilll, he'll be able to hit the ground spinning; he won't need lessons there.

Evidence for that observation came in his debate Sunday with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams. Miller's message to voters was essentially that all the relatively negative information about his past is actually a positive.

It meant voters had learned a lot about him and that what they learned should give them confidence that he's one of them.

As the Anchorage Daily News reported:

Miller said Alaskans probably know more about him than any other candidate. And he said that's probably a good thing because they "get to understand that, hey, they're electing somebody like them."

We'll know in eight days if voters bought the Republican and Tea Party favorite's premise although it's a big question mark right now.

After all, Alaska voters have learned in recent weeks that Miller was punished by his employer when, as a lawyer for a municipality, he used government computers to conduct political activities.

An opponent of many federal domestic programs and spending, Miller has also fought charges of hypocrisy ever since it was disclosed that he or relatives received federal agricultural subsidies, unemployment payments or Medicaid.

Maybe many voters will be able to relate. But so far it appears that the disclosures have had the opposite effect, tightening a race in which he once appeared to have the momentum, with Murkowski, who lost the Republican primary to him and is running as a write-in candidate, essentially tied in the latest polling. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]