Analysis: Murkowski could place second in the primary


If the week’s political events showed anything, it’s how unloved Sen. Lisa Murkowski is by many, perhaps a majority, of Alaska voters. Murkowski showed up at an Americans for Prosperity event in Anchorage where people were filling up their tanks for half price, compliments of AFP.

The motorists and volunteers who observed Murkowski’s presence at the event were furious. People in line for the $2.38 gas wanted to know what Murkowski was doing at the event; they grew suspicious that this was really a stealth Murkowski campaign event. Keyboard warriors went to town on Murkowski and openly criticized AFP for allowing her to attend.

The truth is that Americans for Prosperity Alaska had invited both Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan to come and talk to real Alaskans, not just spend all their days with the high-and-mighties sitting in the conferences and board rooms trying to divvy up the federal broadband money coming from the government printing shop. AFP would have invited Congressman Don Young, if he was still alive. In this case, only Murkowski showed up, and it went downhill from there.

The lesson is clear: Murkowski makes everyday Alaskans mad, and makes Republican voters the maddest.

The senator, although she has a significant war chest, has headwinds in the primary on Aug. 16. She appears unworried, but her performance in the past two primaries is a warning light on the dash: In 2016, her last general election, she won just 44.4% of the vote, becoming the first senator in U.S. history to win three elections to the U.S. Senate without winning a majority.

Murkowski, the pundits say, is a shoo-in in November because she is protected by Ballot Measure 2’s ranked choice voting scheme and because she doesn’t face a Republican primary next week.

Republican analysts also say, however, she will not be in first place in the primary, and that as a sitting senator, it will look bad for her. She has Republican Party-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka on her right, and Pat Chesbro and Edgar Blatchford as her leading Democrat opponents.

Overall, there are 19 candidates on the Senate jungle primary ballot. Eight of them are Republicans and three are Democrats. This makes it hard for any Republican candidate to have a solid showing, but it’s hardest for Murkowski, who should be able to get over 44%. If she does not, it could be embarrassing for her campaign.

Some strategists now think there is a high chance Tshibaka will come in first on the primary ballot, and Murkowski may even come in third, behind Chesbro, the Democrat who has the Democrat Party’s endorsement. The Libertarian, Sean Thorne, may be the fourth-place winner for the November ballot.

The August primary is one in which super voters show up. It’s usually a low-turnout election because it’s fishing season, wood-gathering season, berry harvesting season and the final parties of summer.

Tshibaka’s base is invigorated. This is the best chance they have of replacing Murkowski.

Other pundits believe that the race becomes much tougher in November, when Murkowski expects to do well in ranked choice voting, with people who mark Chesbro first marking Murkowski second to give her the 50+1 she needs.

A Democrat-funded group called Protect the Vote, has now said the quiet part out loud: Chesbro can’t win in November. In its recent email, the group asked people to donate to its “Ally Protection Fund.” Here’s what else the group said:

“An Alaska Survey Research poll is showing Lisa Murkowski leading her Trump-endorsed opponent, Kelly Tshibaka, by only 4%.

“Yes, only 4%. This is not good. The Senator has proven herself to be a critical ally to Democrats. Because of her bipartisan support she now finds herself in a tough re-election fight against a well-funded MAGA-first opponent.”

The group, Protect the Vote, knows Murkowski can be easily linked to Biden, and Biden is very unpopular in Alaska.

“Donald Trump will do anything to see Lisa Murkowski lose. That is why we need to step in. We may not agree on every issue, but Democrats need her commonsense leadership in the U.S. Senate,” Protect the Vote says.

“Donate to our Ally Protection Fund today. Lisa Murkowski needs our help. Democrats need her to hold this Senate seat against her far-right opponent. Your leadership contribution will immediately go towards providing her with early television ads, digital ads, billboards, mailers, and boots on the ground,” the group pleads with donors.

Then it goes all-in to explain that Murkowski is a Democrat ally:

Protect the Vote PAC describes itself as a “Democratic organization on the front lines of providing critical support to federal campaigns for President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.” 

Murkowski’s coalition has always been a combination of nonpartisans, undeclared voters, libertarians and Democrats, according to Cook Political Report, which points out that Murkowski is financially stronger heading into the final stretch of the primary. As of July 27, Murkowski had $5.3 million cash on hand. Tshibaka had just over $808,000 cash on hand.  

Murkowski has spent $1.1 million on television ads, and the superPAC, Alaskans for Lisa, has spent $1.2 million on TV.

Tshibaka has only spent $174,000 for television.

Senate Leadership Fund money, which is divvied up by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will add another $7.3 million for advertising for Murkowski, highlighting her seniority and ability to get money for Alaska.


  1. Lisa how shameless of you to ask Alaskans for our votes, when is ENOUGH ma’am?? Lisa now is the time to just stop. be a lady and simply resign, ask Alaskans for forgiveness. Simply move on in your life, take up a Bible while you have time on earth. OATH BREAKERS have been EXPOSED and your name is in the book of BREAKERS ma’am. Please resign Lisa. For of and by- the people want Kelly.

  2. Just like 2010, she’ll pull all the stops. I’d as soon choose a Demonrat as #2 over Murky, even *gasp* Chesbro. I will not pull her lever………ever.

  3. As far as ranked choice voting goes, what if you place your favorite candidate in 1st, cross out the next 2nd and 3rd place slots, write in the name of your 1st place candidate in their place complete with a date and also put your favorite candidate in the write in spot ?
    Will this be acceptable ?

    • If you cross names out on your ballot, your ballot will be spoiled and tossed. Only fill in the bubble or write a name in in the write-in slot and fill in that bubble. Fill in only one bubble if you just don’t want to rank 2nd and 3rd. – sd

      • As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, there will be a huge percentage of ballots disqualified in the August 16th and November 8th elections; bigger than ever before. I think it’s critical for the media to report the percentage of ballots thrown out so Alaskans can feel the rotten fruits of this ranked ballot scam.

    • HT, if you want to beat Lisa, just do not give her a vote. Do not rank her and leave the bubbles next to her name empty. If you cross out names your ballot will be rejected! All Alaskans (not talking to the leftist commies) need to NOT RANK LISA! Leave her bubbles blank. This will reduce her percentages overall and give Kelly the win!

      KELLY 2022!

    • No, they throw out your ballot or at best, only keep your first choice. This rank voting needs repealed!

  4. The ONLY reason I’m even showing up to vote in 2022 is to get rid of that stinking Lisa Murkowski.
    The entire Murkowski name is a smear on Alaska. Their 42 years of telling us little folk how to live our lives is OVER.

  5. Ahead by 4% in the poll LOL. This poll results is intended to pacify the sheep after the fraud is perpetrated by the machines. Tough in this state to beat the voting system that Lisa help put in place.

    • She is worse than a Democrat, she is a traitor to this Republic! Just go look at her voting record in support of the Biden agenda. She will help put a stake through the heart of oil production in Alaska and your 2nd Amendment rights. The NRA dumped her for a reason while she continues to lie to Alaskans about her support for your rights under the Constitution. Then ask yourself a very important question. Why is Dan Sullivan supporting her? Because he is part of the swamp!

      • Lisa is good friends with Joe Biden and has voted with the Democrats many times including her vote to seat Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior. Ms. Haaland is one of those people who thinks that all of Alaska should be a national park.

  6. Oh, by the way. Murkowski’s money means nothing. Kari Lake in Arizona was running in the primary with 3.5 million while her RINO opponent spent over 18 million on negative attack ads to hurt her. Kari won every county! It isn’t about money, it’s about shaking off the brainwashing and ignoring their stupid attack ads. We need to set our minds on ejecting Lisa out of her seat, we need a focused effort to place the America & Alaska First candidate in that seat. Forget the attack ads and turn off your TV! Focus on placing Kelly Tshibaka in the U.S. Senate so we can correct the criminal activity that is happening in our nations capitol. This nation belongs to the people, not the SWAMP!

  7. Thinking ahead.
    We need to start NOW to remove “ranked choice voting” in Alaska.
    One man, one vote.
    We fought revolution over this crap – taxation without representation.
    This is WRONG.
    Damn those who did this…

  8. I think it will be a very close race with nobody getting over 50 percent. T will get most votes and M will be a less than 5 percent less. However M will have both second rank in other candidates. M wins. As planned

  9. Do Not rank Murkowski at all! You do NOT have to rank her if you do not want to. Leave her off your ballot completely.

  10. Ranked Choice Voting
    I will vote for only one candidate by putting her 1st in all my choices. That is the same as voting for only one candidate just like it has always been done.

    Bernadette, the state expert on voting, says it is absolutely legal to do it that way:


  11. This is key to understanding the lie that the GOP is actually an opposition party:
    “Senate Leadership Fund money, which is divvied up by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will add another $7.3 million for advertising for Murkowski”
    There are dissidents in the GOP, but they do not have sufficient numbers to effectuate leadership change.

    • Also, his wife owns a Chinese shipping company who receives American dollars, He needs to first be rejected by his home store of Kentucky as Senator. Then we can rid ourselves of him and his lavish lifestyle by maybe cutting his wife out of the equation also. It is evil also that legislators in DC can
      do stock trading the illegal insider way. No wonder they leave DC millionaires.

  12. I’m voting my one candidate first, second and third choice. I do not trust the voting machines, as they could be programed to add in ranking, if left blank.

  13. In traveling SE Alaska, there are virtually Zero signs for Kelly Tshibaka. Nobody knows who she is, and nobody cares who Kelly is. Only Murkowski signs Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and villages. I know that SD has a leaning for Kelly, but I am not so sure that SD polling stats cited of the past have any merit today. Many Alaska republicans are not voting for anyone associated with Mir-a-Lago, corruption, etc.

    Kelly is nothing more than a Republican Alan Gross with a Trump endorsement. Like Al Gross, Kelly makes noise but has zero chance of getting elected. The narrow echo chamber that is her backers is far too small of a group of Alaskans to get elected in Alaska. I am inclined to believe that Must Read readers are well-informed and not low-resolution voters, but many commenters appear to believe that there is rank choice voting in the August Primary…but the fact is that there is only rank choice voting in the August Congressional race, and …then there will be rank choice voting in the General election in November. Therefore, all the die-hard Kelly rooters discussing rank choice strategies have time to drink coffee and come to your Alaska senses and vote for Murkowski as your #2 this November. Any November bullet vote for Kelly is a vote for our Senate seat to be turned over to the Dems of Chesbo or Blatchford-something the wise will ponder despite any personal dislike or misgivings for Murkowski. If you are a Kelly supporter and you do not vote for Murkowski as #2 in November or vice versa then you are a pawn of the Dem Party victory strategy…think about it.

      • FFF- Palin and Kelly are AINO’s- Alaskans In Name Only. Both only recently moved back to Alaska and masquerade that they are Alaskans. Kelly got busted for claiming residency on her fishing license…pretending to be an Alaskan. This disqualified her from any elected office. Wonder if she lied on her AKPFD too? Sara won’t get an AKPFD either as she has not been back in Alaska for 365 consecutive days.

        Murkowski overwhelmingly voted for the Trump and R agenda…in fact she ranks higher than many other Republican Senators. here’s proof below. Just cuz she does not goosestep with the idiot wing of the GOP, does not mean she is a Democrat. Unlike Kelly and Palin, Murkowski is no AINO.


        • TA:
          Please explain what difference their location of residence makes? Many true Alaskans are forced to live in other States for any number of reasons. So… what difference does it make? I personally know several people who do not get PFDs because their jobs keep them out of state for more than 180 days a year. Does not make them any less Alaskan.
          Clinton ran for, and won the NY Senate seat, despite never living in the state outside of a hotel. But, because you think residence is so important, I guess it should be easy for you to explain why.
          Help me out here. I plan on voting for the candidate that supports my ideals first, regardless of where they were living last year.

          • There are two words for folks who move to a location to seek political office. Clinton NY, Oz- Penn. Palin- (resident of AZ or FL or Pluto?) and Tshibaka- Washington DC area. All are “carpet baggers”.

            From the wise Webster:

            Definition of carpetbagger

            : outsider especially : a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics

    • Uhh, you sure you’ve been to Sitka lately? I’ve counted just a few Murkowski signs and four to five times that for Kelly. We’re not even past the primary… and Trump won Sitka in 2020.

      • Hmm. According to the Division of Elections Murkowski took Sitka 51.12% to non-residence fish license Kelly’s 27.7%. Smoked…as in fish.

    • Don’t agree. Mara-a-Lago was I believe a political stench by a politicized agency beyond the pale. Everyone knows President Donald J Trump has a happy fulfilled, personal life. He has no need of this personal harassment. He is a natural leader of decent men. The others that don’t like him are too flawed themselves. Too many in this world want to destroy what American labor and ingenuity has built. He’s not gonna let Klaus screw us over no matter how much the democrats beg for communism. Not happening.
      Conservatives will vote for the republic not nato, cdc, irs, un, wef, communists, nazionalezocializts, Not some weird authoritarian at CDC and assorted monarchs and satan the devil himself aka Baal etc. No. Donald J Trump wants an America for his grandees. These creeps know that. If they are saying something else about him they are lying. Kelly is smart and is for America First for a change. Rank her 1. Dustin Dardin 2. I think Pierce will stick to the Constitution. That’s very important. When the leg wrestlers show up and won’t budget he’ll get them hopping too. Dunleavy is figuring things out and I’m glad he didn’t go overboard on the Dr Zinc CDC eugenics plays although it was bad and more natives are going to have long term health problems because of what was forced upon them Donald Trump has had such rotten treatment as he tries to save this country from the many international enemies of the republic he thought Palin had the same ideas. Maybe. She really just wants to hang out with him in any capacity and who wouldn’t. She has significant traits that should not be near weilding any power I believe. N Begich is admirable and contributed what he could to the best President ever. They should work together well if Begich sticks with President Trump’s efforts. President Trump will find somewhere Ms. Palin can hang around to lift his spirits. Vote Begich. Don’t rank anybody else. Voting for Palin is voting for no representation at all in Congress because she wiuld be too challenged intellectually. Begich has got a brain in his head and would be amenable to providing actual constituent service – himself. Palin just wants to mesmerize the suseptible with her singsong voice praseology. She must have picked it up in her proximity to French Canadians in her youth. She sure has mesmerized President Trump. Fine. She lifts his spirits. We still need a Conservative Congressman. None is not working for me. I miss Don Young.

  14. Well! For the public to see a u.s senator at a discounted gas event would look kinda weird to average americans when todays political office holders and elite bureaucrats can afford
    gas at 15.00-They don’t need discounts.

    • Murkowski didn’t even
      think of paying for a hotdog vender grilling up hotdogs and passing out water. May be crowd be less annoyed (with her)
      because of
      bellies be full

  15. First priority is to get rid of Murky. It’s better to have an open enemy the senate rather than the traitor Murky stabbing you in the back.

  16. Correct me if I’m wrong (please let me be wrong) but all of the ranked votes will still pass through a programmable Dominion voting machine. Seems like with this in place, it really doesn’t matter how you vote as the numbers can, and have been proven to be done in the past. Alaska should follow the lead of the Mat-Su and hand count. This is a proven method that has been around for millennia with good results, especially when there is clear oversight!!

  17. Why would McConnell offer $7M for adds for Murky, when she hardly votes with Republican when it really counts?
    Beginning to doubt McConnell as well.

    • H will most likely be the Rep leader once again if Repubs win the Senate. He is crooked and they somehow do not see or care.

  18. This campaign is giving me indigestion and multiple other health problems. Frankie and Nancy have told me similar things. You Alaskans think she is assaulting you. Her own family is harmed by her traitorous ways.

    • Then they need to go public not on a safe site to say so, Have not seen their faces anywhere talking about their traitor daughter

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