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GOP leaders concede Senate may be out of reach

By Steven Thomma

McClatchy Newspapers

Published: Sunday, Oct. 31 2010 3:56 p.m. MDT

Cornyn disputed reports that the national party was abandoning Miller in favor of Murkowski, but offered a tepid endorsement of Miller and declined to say whether he thought Miller could win.

"We are supporting the nominee of our party, which is Mr. Miller . . . but are concerned," Cornyn said.

Asked if Miller could win, he said, "Well, I think that polls are very close now between Senator Murkowski and Joe Miller, and what we want to make sure of is that the Democrat doesn't win."

Palin, appearing on Fox News Sunday where she is a paid contributor, blamed "the GOP machine and the Democrats and the liberal media" for Miler's problems.

She lashed out at a TV station in Alaska, saying they conspired with Murkowski to find a child molester in a Miller rally. "Those are corrupt bastards," Palin said.

Menendez suggested that the race is down to Murkowski vs. McAdams, and that McAdams "actually has a real chance of winning this race."

In Delaware, Republican insiders once thought they had a slam dunk to take the Democratic seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden when it appeared that popular Rep. Mike Castle would win the nomination.

But he was upset in August by tea party favorite Christine O'Donnell. She's now handicapped both by her staunch conservatism in a more liberal state and by controversial statements such as believing that scientists are developing mice with human brains and that she had classified information about a secret Chinese plan to take over America.

She trails in polls by double digits.

(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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