Palin’s recommendation to her followers to not comply with Alaska’s ranked choice voting system worked for her: 41% of the people who voted for Palin did not fill in a second bubble for any other candidate. Thus, the win was handed to Democrat Mary Peltola, who will be sworn in next week as Alaska’s next congresswoman.
The data from the Division of Elections is still being analyzed by the Must Read Alaska team, but this much is clear: Even with 41% of Palin voters not ranking anyone, Nick Begich would have won against Peltola, by about 5%.
If Begich had been in second place, and Palin had been eliminated first, he would have reached 88,000 votes, whereas Peltola would have only gotten an additional 3,880 votes from Palin’s voters, and that would put her at 79,585. Begich would have won by over 8,400 votes.
The data file released from the Division of Elections is massive and is in a JSON format, which is very technical. More analysis is coming from Must Read Alaska. Check back later tonight for more updates.
This is consistent with Dittman Research’s polling prior to the election that showed that had Nick Begich been in second place after the first round, he would have won the election over Peltola. It also basically proves that in November, if conservatives rank Begich first and Palin second, it’s very likely Begich will win the election.