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Carol Carman: Polls and data reveal high-negative Palin is unelectable vs. Peltola, but Begich wins vs. Peltola


With 60% of the voters choosing Republicans (Sarah Palin and Nick Begich) in round 1 of the ranked choice voting system now being used in Alaska, it seemed like the final outcome should have been a Republican win.

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One of the Republicans should have inherited the other’s votes with ranked choice voting. Instead, the Democrat won. This baffled my mind when I learned the results. I wondered what in tarnation happened. It was not until I looked at polling data, and took into consideration differing cultures in Alaska, that I found the answer. 

The factor that has not been considered in this race is Palin’s 63% negativity rating, as revealed by poll after poll. A high negativity rating gives candidates a low ceiling, and makes them unelectable. 

I thought Palin would be better than a Bernie Sanders-style, far-left Democrat any day of the week, but apparently about half of Begich’s voters did not agree with me. That seemed odd to me, given how conservative Begich is. We don’t know who those voters are, nor their motives. We can only speculate.

Some did not choose a #2 at all. There are probably many reasons for that, all of them negative. The ones that surprised me were the ones who chose Peltola as #2. There is no question about Begich being conservative, so that defied logic to me. Reasoning is not always political, however, especially in a state-wide campaign in Alaska. One man I met at a Republican meeting (who lives remotely in the bush) told me that in the Native culture respect is the utmost priority. If you come across as disrespectful, people will not listen to you or vote for you, regardless your political viewpoint. 

Sarah didn’t do any campaigning in Alaska, but she did show up for a couple of parades and debates. Many people in Alaska live remotely and may not know her history as governor, nor her status as a celebrity, but they may have watched some of the debates. Her persona on the debate stage probably turned some people off.

Additionally, Palin’s supporters are aggressive on social media, with many trolls in attack-mode against anyone who supports Begich. Her entire social media campaign was negative. All of that came to mind when I looked at the data and saw Palin’s negativity rating. Mary Peltola and Begich were well spoken and had low-key personalities at debates. Sarah is anything but low-key. I suspect this played a big part in the Peltola voters’ #2 choice, and a part in Palin’s negativity rating. 

A state-wide candidate just cannot overcome the low ceiling that a high negativity rating causes in Alaska. Joe Miller faced the same problem when he ran against Sen. Lisa Murkowski and against Dan Sullivan. Rep. Chris Kurka’s entire campaign was spent bashing Republican opponents. Kurka was so unpopular that he didn’t even make the final four during the jungle primary. Polarizing candidates just don’t win our state-wide races. They offend too many voters.

To further the point, Dunleavy is married to an Alaska Native woman and spent his working career in the bush. He has a very low-key, respectful personality. His campaign is low-key and positive. His ratings are the highest in the governor race. There are probably many reasons he is doing so well, but in Alaska’s statewide races, you simply must take the negativity rating into account. Polling data and round 2 in the Palin/Begich/Peltola race confirm that point. 

Pollsters asked questions like, “If Palin and Peltola are the final two, who would you vote for?” and “If Begich and Peltola are the final two, who would you vote for?” The resulting data verifies that a negativity rating is a very important factor. It also verifies that the Native culture plays an important role in the final outcome, because their vote is often all about that negativity rating rather than political viewpoints of candidates. I can think of no other logical explanation for the polling data and final outcome going to a democrat.

No one paid attention to polling data done in July, but now it all makes sense. It shows that if Palin were to be eliminated, Begich would beat the Democrat easily.

Since Palin beat Begich in round 1, there is no way for Begich to face Peltola alone at this point and win the seat for Republicans in November, unless something changes dramatically. 

The best solution for conservatives is for Palin to change that final outcome by dropping out. She is unelectable and cannot win. She prevents a Republican victory by blocking Begich from facing Peltola. I don’t see Palin as a team player, so that may be a long-shot. Palin would need to put the good of our state and our country above all else. It would be such a huge blessing if she is humble enough to do that. I bet it would do wonders for her negativity rating too. 

If Palin refuses to back down then we can only hope for the best. Begich will need to step up his campaign and Republican-leaning voters need to be convinced to rank the red. Which ever candidate is eliminated, their votes simply must go to the other Republican in this race. That is a huge hurdle to get over, as voters may not want to do that.

The bottom line: It is all about data-informed strategy at this point. If Palin is a good strategist she will see the writing on the wall, and if our state and country are most important to her she will do her part to help secure that seat for an electable Republican.

Carol Carman is Republican Party, District 29 chair.

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  1. The Palon Derangement Syndrome, PDS, is some of the most biased reporting I’ve ever read – ever
    I understand this is a website with an agenda – conservative leaning – and I always felt it reported from the conservative perspective – but it was always measured – that’s why I read it on a daily basis.
    This PDS has morphed into a personal, hateful screed against Palin. I’ve never seen this level of attack against ANY liberal progressive in this state.
    C’mon SD, you’re better than this. Why the vindictiveness?

  2. Well played, Democrats! You have two candidates in contention come November – Begich & Peltola. Either way you win.

    • You are aware that Nick Begich is not Mark Begich who is indeed a democrat? Nick Begich has always been a Republican and a conservative and has no record anywhere of being anything else. I can only guess you are confused by the last name. Surprising how many are.

      • Nick Begich is a RINO, and the support he got from the Democrats in the special election is proof of that. Hell… Lisa Murkowski has been a Democrat for about 20 years now, but still carries a registration with the Republican party.
        Name is meaningless. Actions carry meaning. And, Fishing is 100% correct.

    • Sadly, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Nick is the real deal. You should talk to him and find out for yourself.

  3. This was all planned. I imagine Al Gross was paid to throw his name in the hat. He conveniently “dropped out” at the last minute. Both Republicans stayed so the outcome was easy to predict as they had to split the vote. Sarah knows she’s not popular here and I wonder if her putting her name in the hat was paid for. We’ll never know but we do know RCV works as the Democrats planned. We could see this same scenario in the governor race.

  4. Where are all the commentary demanding Tshibaka’s dropping out? It has become clear that she cannot beat Murkowski. Is surrender only honorable for Al Gross, Tara Sweeney, and Sarah Palin?

  5. Carman says, “The ones that surprised me were the ones who chose Peltola as #2. There is no question about Begich being conservative, so that defied logic to me.” She got that right; those voters “defied logic” and voted their feelings. They would rather have Alaska become a welfare slave state then tolerate a kooky representative like Palin. They don’t understand the importance of being in the right party in congress.
    Then, speaking of Palin, Carman says, “…..and if our state and country are most important to her she will do her part to help secure that seat for an electable Republican” We all know that won’t happen; Palin is in this for herself, not Alaska.

    • Well, i question how conservative NB3 is. He fairly recently voted for Berkowitz!! I guarantee you Palin has never voted for such an ultra-liberal democrat. And we still don’t know just how he has made his millions nor how many people he employs in AK. Tried to get that out of him but received very evasive answers like “I’ve invested in a lot of companies” but wasn’t willing to name one. Honestly, he left me no choice but to put Palin at the top of the ticket.

      • Palin endorsed Bill Walker. Guess they kind of cancel each other out on that front. Both of these actions give me pause. However, don’t forget that Peltola supports the likes of Obama, Pelosi, and Biden. She might be more likable than them, but her policy is just as dangerous.

    • How many Nick 1 Peltola 2 ballots were counted on election day? Or did most of them come in after Nick dropping first was a known outcome, and they knew how many more Peltola votes they needed?

  6. Good analysis.

    The Republican solution is to paint Peltola in the pocket of Pelosi. Likewise, it would behoove both Palin and Begich to go after Peltola and paint her as the cooperative person she will be to the devious Democratic Biden agenda. Don’t go after each other. (Rank-choice voting is supposed to create less in-party antagonisms.)

    Then, if both Palin and Begich say they’ll rank the red and vote for each other in their second ranked vote.

    • Rank choice is guaranteed to create more in party antagonisms.
      Is there any other possible outcome when more than one candidate from a political party is on the general election ballot? Please… I do not care how dedicated any team member is for winning, in the end, they all want to be the starting quarterback. No one wants to sit on the bench for the greater good. Well, except the losers.

  7. We wouldn’t even be in this position if Carol Carman and many other gate keepers in the republican party were doing what is best for the party, our State, and our Nation. A deeper look into her support for RINO candidates even in her own district such as George Rauscher tells the real story. I’m sure Pamela Goode from Delta Junction could fill some pages here of what Carol has been up to behind the scenes.
    If we had real conservative candidates such as Pam, or LD Howard, and many others around the State maybe we wouldn’t still have Ranked Choice Voting. How many times did the legislature kill voter initiatives to move the Capital in Alaska? If we had real conservative candidates, they would support Senator Mike Shower and his exhaustive efforts to get an Election Integrity bill passed. How many co-sponsors did Mike Shower get from other supposed conservative candidates for his bill Carol? Zero. That’s how many. No one including your buddy George Rauscher will stand up and help cross-sponsor Mike’s bill from the house in any vocal way. Where was your demand on this site for Kevin Meyer to be held accountable for the voter rolls being hacked right before the 2020 election and telling no one until later, or pushing to hold a forensic audit of the 2020 election?
    The silence and inaction from Carol Carman and other RINO’s that control the republican party is disgusting. It’s easy to blame Sarah. She is a self-centered person, and a terrible candidate. Nick is just another Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz supporting RINO. Two terrible choices.
    The republican party insiders like Carol Carman can try and deflect from their own agenda and failures, but most of us see right through her. Carol and the rest of the RINO’s need to accept what they have created.

    • you nailed it…the AKGOP has been dancing to the tune of Ruedrich and his corrupt minions for far too long…if Carman’s district had any brain cells at all…they would get rid of her.

  8. The big takeaway: As long as the Republicans split their votes, a Democrat is going to win. Some of us need to make sacrifices or else. I voted for Palin, not because I think she is perfect, but because I could actually live with it, her policies, and was considering the big picture w/Trump. My #2 was Begich, and I have concerns about him because he comes from a Democrat background and I’ve never had to live w/his policies.

    I’m not even a Republican, but here I am, trying to get one into that House seat because I’m sick of the mess Democrats are causing this country. That is the big picture.

    If I knew all Republican voters were going for Begich, I’d go there. If I knew all Republican voters were going for Palin, I’d go there. I will not vote for a Democrat.

    So, please, let’s not bash each other needlessly and instead debate civilly and decide who we’re going to choose to help save our state and our country.


    • Read about Nicks life. Not raised by the Begich Dems. Raised by his mothers conservative parents. In FL!! His grandfather raised him in church as he was a pastor. Open your mind and click him and his life out. You people that are against him due to his name are causing more problems for us

  9. Asking Palin to drop out after she was enthusiastically endorsed by DJT would be a wrong step. We need people who will fall in line with DJT, to enact his God-driven direction for this country. There can be no in-fighting among his party any more. Palin with faithfully support him and his agenda, and he knows that, which is why he so enthusiastically supported her! Begich needs to drop out, not Palin.

    DJT for our future!

    • DJT doesn’t care a whit about you, and to think that you actually believe he is carrying out “God’s” Plan… You have been so sadly deluded.

      • That you cannot recognize his greatness, the gift that he is, is truly sad.

        Not one allegation against him turned out to be true. Every effort to undermine and discredit him has been thrown out. Why? Because he is chosen.

        The current plot to discredit him, these allegations of impropriety with classified documents, will turn out like every other baseless accusation brought against him – pure rubbish.

        • I believe that Elohim created America for a purpose, and that He had anointed Trump to reveal the Left’s agenda, of trying to turn America into another failing Communist state. There are numerous examples in the Bible where unsavory, under-qualified, politically incorrect individuals were chosen to help bring about some part of Elohim’s long term goals.
          Not our will, but Elohim’s will be done!

    • Yes, all must fall in line with the Dear Leader. God-driven direction? From a thrice-married adulterer? What universe do you live in?

      • I live in the universe where we look at the face of a man who can save us from our destructive course, and we turn away, regrettably.

        How can we not see the greatness of DJT’s humble service to the world! Nothing but giving from DJT, nothing but giving. We just choose not to receive.

  10. Carol, the Begich boys have this stuff figured out: they have covered all their political bases–the full spectrum. “NB3”–as some jackasses like to call him–co-chaired Don Young’s 2020 re-election campaign and he filled against him while he was a sitting congressman. Why? Come on! Your “NB3” co-chaired Young’s 2020 campaign to help reserve the seat for himself in 2022. If you recall he filed for Young’s seat well before the Dean of the House died! Now that is “real dedication” to the Dean or forethought by the Begich family! If Young hadn’t died, Begich would be out bashing Don Young right now! Wake or be “woke,” bud, the Begich bunch is all out for the gobstoppers!

    I’ll go with Sarah! The more I think of a Congressman Begich, the leerier I become! “NB3” may present himself as a conservative, but you have to admit, he’s all “Machiavellian!” He definitely has a some the “slower” party regulars outsmarted!

    • Edits:

      “Wake or be ‘woke,’ Carol, the Begich bunch is all out for the gobstoppers!”

      “He definitely has some of the ‘slower’ party regulars outsmarted!”

  11. Nothing new here. I told everyone months ago that Sarah was in this as an opportunity for another joy ride. Her ego never gets satisfied. Millionaire boyfriends. Front pages of gossip rags. New digs in FL, AZ and TX. Little or no interest in Alaska or her family. All of you Sarah supporters have been had ……in spades. She is unelectable in this great state. Ask my Dad. He endorses Nick Begich. I endorse Nick Begich.

  12. Palin will never drop out. Unless some TV show offers her a contract. Maybe Hannity will have her as a co-host.

    Sarah and her followers will reject any data saying anything they don’t want to hear.

    To be fair, when is the last time any politician besides Gerald Ford do anything for the good of the people?

    • Ford was the FBI’s spy on the Warren Commission
      He secretly reported 2 members’ doubts about JFK assassination

      By Associated Press
      Aug 9, 2008, 11:09pm AKDT


    • “…….To be fair, when is the last time any politician besides Gerald Ford do anything for the good of the people?”
      I don’t know if it’s “good” or not, but Trump opened ANWR merely by willing it done and signing his name to it. This after forty freaking years of Alaska’s federal delegation (Gravel, Stevens, Young, Murkowski, Murkowski #2, Begich, Sullivan) from both parties begging and positioning to get it done.
      Then, after the exploratory leases were sold, Biden (again, with a mere signature from his quivering hand) put a moratorium on drilling on the leases. Despite the worldwide fuel crisis. WWIII kind of stuff.
      So, yeah, one guy can get it done. And one guy can screw it up.

  13. Palin claims conservative but her Governorship showed us she was very liberal Peltola is more moderate than the republicans try to paint her, look at her modest agreeable personality and willingness to work across party lines
    Independents finally show their muscle wake up republicans and become inclusive rather than exclusive

  14. There are plenty of questions about how conservative Mitt begkowski is. He has no delineated positions on his site, just a bunch of generalities

  15. Excellent analysis of the divide in the Republican Party. We could play together and win or we can all play separately and lose together.

    Rank the red for both candidates. Had all conservative voters ranked an R for their second choice Alaska would be sending an R to Washington now.

    Maybe November, but I’m not holding my breath.

  16. Excellent well presented analysis. One can hope and pray Sarah sees the big picture and makes the wisest move.

  17. Palin voters and Palin herself are the negative ones? All I’ve heard and seen are the negative ads paid for my the Begich side. And the majority of comments from the Palin voters say they marked Begich 2nd, even if they don’t like him. If you’re claiming Palin is negative, you better throw Begich and his voters in with her.

    I voted for both. That’s how we win with the ranked choice. Begich can’t beat Sarah, which is proven. So Begich voters need to decide what’s more important, keeping Alaska Republican or hating Sarah Palin.

  18. How come nobody asks the thousands of NBIII Mary voters to step down. You know, just don’t vote #2 for the “good of the party”.. Hey Carol Carman, why don’t you step down instead dis enfranchising half the party.

      • Palin was the one who went to the FBI when she learned of the oil and gas corruption in 2006 while serving on the commission. She has no problem turning in crooks.
        Of course, she had no idea that the FBI and DOJ were worse crooks than Alaskan Republicans. None of us did then. We do now. Andrew Weissmann was the prime gangster then, and he’s the prime gangster now with Crossfire Hurricane. If things changed, it got worse.
        Palin knows who Begich is. She knows who Peltola is. She chose her poison, and so have I. Peltola for Congress!

        • Ok. Then tell me this. Why did Eric Gonzalez of the FBI go on TV making a statement? After Palin resigned. They were not investigating her. Why did they feel like they had to make a public announcement? Email?

          • “……..Why did Eric Gonzalez of the FBI go on TV making a statement?…..”
            To deny British press reports that a stalker against whom Sarah Palin was granted a restraining order was arrested in Alaska.
            “……They were not investigating her……..”
            “…….Why did they feel like they had to make a public announcement?……”
            Because The Mirror and Daily Mail published false stories about Shawn Christy.
            And none of that has anything to do with the 2006 Alaska Corruption Scandal, which is what I was referring to regarding Palin turning in Republican Party crooks.

    • Palin also doesn’t have the numbers, and that’s because both conservatives and Republicans are fractured by stupidity, propaganda, greed, and graft.

  19. One aspect if this column rubs me the wrong way. The author seems to be fixated on the the importance of the Native vote. It doesn’t take much deep thinking to recognize that when given a chance to vote a Native candidate, Alaskan Natives did so in significant numbers. I am totally fine with that. But the author seems to suggest that the Native vote – sixteen percent, give or take – was the deciding factor in the election. To reiterate, most Alaskan Natives likely voted for Petola in all the scenarios. More significant were the non-Native Republicans like myself that declined to vote for Sarah Palin under any circumstances. Electing Ms. Palin would do harm to Alaska with her shallow, non-substantive and ego-driven candidacy. Frankly, the focus on race makes me want to puke.

    • Anger, frustration, disappointment, pick your adjective of choice regarding your feelings about Sarah, but this election isn’t about you. It’s not even about Alaska. It’s about changing the direction of our country and getting it back to the constitutionally representative republic it is supposed to be. Replacing Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer is where we should be focused. We do that by getting’R’s elected. Speakers, Majority Leaders, AND Committee Leaders are all decided by the majority. What is put on the floor for discussion and vote, deciding on who or what gets investigated ALL are decided by the majority. A democrat will keep the status quo. You may feel better denying Sarah a win, but you’re doing nothing to improve the status of the country. Rank the red.

  20. This is a bucket of fun watching you republicans fight. As long as the orange guy is your leader and there’s candidates like palin and Oz it’s going to be a sunny day for the dems

  21. Sarah has come back to Alaska only to ensure the R’s snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as they have in the past.
    Congrat’s Ms. Palin for helping the Dem’s win so far.
    With out you, the R’s would have had a real R going to D.C. to fill Don Young’s seat.
    Now, thanks to Sa-r-ah! S-ar-ah! – a Dem (Mary Peltola is going, and may go again to DC in the next go ’round.

    • Sarah came back because she fears what is going to happen. It’s all coming out. 😂😂😂

  22. The author of this convoluted, conspiracy laced article is actually a Republican Party District chair?Obviously, the bar is astoundingly low for that title! People like her are willing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory if they don’t get their way. Amazing!

  23. Palin is just like Trump, Patton or Mcarther. You gotta take the good with a few sour apples. No body else can do as much for the USA. And yes, at this juncture the USA is more important than any state. If you want somebody that stands up there like a statue wind up toy you already have Mr. Joker the puppet.

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