HomeTechnologyGadgetsMary Peltola seeks to thwart Sarah Palin as Alaska tabulates ranked choice...

Mary Peltola seeks to thwart Sarah Palin as Alaska tabulates ranked choice voting results



CNN

Alaska Rep. Maria Peltolathe Democrat who won a special election that sent her to Congress this summer will again thwart the former administration. Sarah Palin‘s bid for a political comeback. CNN predicted on Wednesday that Peltola will win the race ahead Alaska’s at-large House seat after the state ranked choice mood tablesdefeating Palin and Republican Nick Begich III.

CNN also predicted that Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski will win reelection. She will beat Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Patricia Chesbro. CNN had previously predicted that a Republican would take the seat.

And Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy will win re-election, CNN predicted. He defeats Democrat Les Gara and Independent Bill Walker. Dunleavy won over 50% of the first choice vote, so ranked choice tables were not required.

In Alaska, voters approved a move to a ranked choice system in 2020. It will come into force for the first time in 2022.

Under the new system, Alaska holds open primaries and voters cast their ballots for one candidate from any party, and the top four finishers advance. In the general election, voters rank those four candidates from their first choice to their fourth choice.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the first-choice vote, the state tabulates the results of the ranked choice—eliminating the last place and shifting those votes to the voters’ second choices. If after one round of tabulation there is still no winner, the third place finisher will be placed and the same voting shift process will take place.

Peltola first won the House seat when a similar scenario played out in the August special election to extend the remaining months of the late Rep. Don Young, a Republican who died in March after representing Alaska in the House for 49 years.

Peltola volunteered as an abortion rights advocate and advocate for salmon fishing and emerged victorious in August’s special election after receiving only 40% of the first-place vote. This time, she has a larger stake, while Palin and Begich’s support has dwindled.

The House race has demonstrated the unusual alliances in Alaskan politics. While Peltola is a Democrat, she is also close to Palin—whose tenure as governor overlapped with Peltola’s time as a Juneau state legislator. The two praised each other warmly. Palin has criticized the ranked choice voting system. But she never personally targeted Peltola.

The Republicans in the race, Palin and Begich, both urged voters to “rank the red” and put the two GOP contenders first and second.

But Peltola quickly won over many in the state after her extraordinary election win — in part because she has deep relationships with a number of Republicans.

Peltola told CNN in an interview that she and Palin bonded in Juneau because they were new moms, and that Palin’s family had given Peltola’s family a backyard trampoline when Palin resigned from the governor’s office.

At an Alaska Federation of Natives candidates forum in October, Palin praised Peltola effusively.

“Damn, I never have anything to complain about. I wish she would convert to the other party. But other than that, love her,” Palin said of Peltola.

Peltola’s family was also close to the late Young’s family. Peltola’s father and Young had taught school together decades ago and were hunting buddies, Peltola said in an interview.

In the race for Alaska’s Senate seat, Murkowski, a moderate Republican, was targeted by former President Donald Trump after she voted to convict him during his impeachment trial in the wake of the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Murkowski broke down during his presidency also features Trump on some key votes.

Trump supported Tshibaka and a cadre of former Trump campaign officials worked on her campaign. She was also backed by the Alaska Republican Party, which chose to support the more conservative candidate in a state Trump won by 10 percentage points in 2020.

But Murkowski had built a broad coalition in a state where political alliances are often more complicated than they seem. She and Peltola had said publicly that they would rank each other first in their election.

Chesbro, the Democrat, was one of four candidates to advance to the general election. Republican Buzz Kelley also advanced, but dropped out, urging his supporters to vote for Tshibaka.

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