Sarah Palin Loses To Democrat Challenger In Alaska Congress Polling

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Sarah Palin, who is really trying to make a political comeback with a Trump-supported bid for Congress, is losing — again — to Democratic challenger and incumbent Mary Peltola in new Alaska polling available on the eve of the election.

According to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures, absentee ballots from Alaska voters can be received by authorities up to 10 days after Election Day and still count, although like everywhere else in the country, ballots postmarked after Election Day still aren’t valid. For the general election in this year’s Alaska Congressional race, the winner of which will serve in the state’s lone House seat, Alaskans are using a system called ranked choice voting, in which voters can select multiple candidates and rank their picks. The goal is for a contender to eventually pass 50 percent. If nobody does so in the first round, the last-place finisher is eliminated, with their supporters’ ballots appropriately redistributed. The same process continues until a contender clinches a simple majority of the remaining ballots.

Peltola and Palin already faced each other in a Congressional election this year that also used ranked choice voting, but the winner of that race was only set to serve for the remainder of the last term of the late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who died in office after serving for decades. Peltola nabbed a victory after a portion of those primarily selecting Nick Begich III (another Republican candidate) picked her next rather than Palin. Many didn’t make a selection after Begich. This time around, when the winner will serve for a full two years in Congress, Peltola remains in the lead. In new numbers from Dittman Research, Peltola was almost at 50 percent in the first round. She had 48 percent of the support, while Palin nabbed 25 percent, and Begich — who’s running again — had 23 percent.

That first round also included other categories, including voters picking the Libertarian candidate as their first choice. Putting just the three leading candidates against each other in another round doesn’t change the results much. Eliminating Begich left Peltola with a majority.

Peltola had 56 percent of the support in the final round, with Palin at 44 percent. Previous polling from Dittman has found roughly similar results, although Peltola’s lead dipped into the single digits in the final round in early October numbers. Peltola, whose time in Congress so far has been marked by work like an effort to address difficulties in accessing food among veterans, was also viewed much more favorably in the new poll than Palin. A full 58 percent of respondents indicated a favorable view of the Congresswoman. Palin was at just 37 percent. Predictably, some raised complaints about the use of ranked choice voting after Peltola won this year’s earlier special election, but Alaska voters approved the system. It’s a more efficient way of getting at the same outcome sought by runoff elections in states like Georgia: winners with an actual majority behind them.