Polling Shows Sarah Palin Losing To Dem Challenger In Alaska

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In new polling from Alaska Survey Research, Sarah Palin is losing to Democratic Congresswoman Mary Peltola as the two face each other in an ongoing election for Alaska’s House seat.

The third major candidate in the race is Republican contender Nick Begich III, but he’s also losing to Peltola in these newly available numbers. The primary in this race featured all candidates on the same ballot, with those finishing in the top four positions moving on to the general election. (The fourth candidate is Libertarian.) In the general election, Alaskans are using ranked choice voting, in which those casting ballots can select more than one candidate and rank their choices. The goal is for a candidate to pass 50 percent. Assuming nobody does so in the first round, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and their voters’ ballots are appropriately reallocated, assuming they made additional selections. That continues until somebody nabs a simple majority.

In these numbers, Peltola was already almost at 50 percent in the first round, with 48.9 percent to Palin’s 25.6 percent. Eliminating the Libertarian was enough to put Peltola over 50 percent in this polling, but the survey also shows results from hypothetical scenarios in which tabulations continued. Eliminating Begich and reallocating his supporters’ votes gives Peltola an even larger lead, with 56.7 percent to 43.3 percent for Palin. Removing Palin from the count ahead of final calculations resulted in similar numbers, with Peltola at 56.1 percent and Begich at 43.9 percent. There weren’t enough Begich supporters ranking Palin next or Palin backers picking Begich next to put either candidate over the top should their opponent be eliminated, although with Peltola already past 50 percent here it’s unclear that even could have worked.

A similar scenario already unfolded in Alaska’s first Congressional election of the year, the winner of which (Peltola) was to serve for the remainder of the last term of the late Rep. Don Young, a Republican who was in office for decades. In the special election, 29 percent of Begich’s supporters ranked Peltola next. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who voted in favor of Trump’s conviction after his second impeachment and is facing a Trump-supported Republican challenger, is supporting Peltola, who Murkowski said she’d rank first. Trump backs Palin. A late September press release from Peltola’s office touts the passage in the House of her “first bill,” which “calls for the creation of an Office of Food Security within the Department of Veterans Affairs.” The effort would help those involved with the military in addressing hunger, and the bill passed with a large and bipartisan majority.

Featured image: Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons license