Could McConnell have saved Blake Masters’ campaign in Arizona with funds he wasted battling Tshibaka in Alaska?


Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat and gun-restricting activist, is the presumptive winner in Arizona, ending the chances of Blake Masters, who challenged the incumbent in a high-profile race, of flipping the Senate to Republican control.

Although Masters said on Saturday he will not concede until after all votes are counted, the Associated Press has seen enough and declared Kelly the winner Friday night, moving Sen. Chuck Schumer and the Democrats one seat closer to holding the majority in the Senate.

Arizona’s Senate results bring the Senate to 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans. The Georgia Senate race will go to a runoff on Dec. 6, and Nevada’s race is too close to call. Republicans now need to flip both those seats to Republican in order to take over leadership. A 50-50 Senate means Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaking vote, as she has been for the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Blake Masters said it could have been different, but that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who runs the Senate Leadership Fund, spent $7 million in Alaska, getting into a battle with Alaska Republicans who wanted to oust Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Masters said that could have made the difference in Arizona or the other key states, and he lays the failure of the red wave on McConnell.

In Alaska, McConnell spent those millions not attacking Democrats, but smearing the name of Republican Kelly Tshibaka, to the point that several districts of the Republican Party issued resolutions of censure and condemnation of McConnell and told him to butt out of Alaska, if he was not going to support the Alaska Republican Party’s endorsed candidate, Tshibaka.

The Alaska Republican Party’s national committeeman, a member of the Republican National Committee, weighed in with an open letter to McConnell. Alaska Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Brown issued a weak response to the McConnell attacks, however.

Maricopa County has about 275,000 ballots that are outstanding from election day drop offs, and they are expected to be heavily Republican but the mess in Maricopa has led many to believe Masters has no path to victory.

Masters has called for removing McConnell as Republican Senate leader, and he is not alone.

“How much did McConnell spend in Colorado on his favorite candidate? Millions. He was blown away. How much did he spend on smearing the conservative in Alaska? Millions. How much did he spend on the Arizona Senate race. Nothing,” said Mark Levin, conservative commentator and host of the Mark Levin Show.

Benny Johnson, conservative analyst and host of his own show, said, “Never ever forget that Mitch McConnell pulled *all* Senate campaign cash from Arizona – BACKSTABBING Blake Master because he did not like the cut of his jib. McConnell would rather a young promising, popular Republican LOSE than be MAJORITY Leader and have to listen to the base.”

McConnell appears to be in trouble, as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said he wants the vote on the Senate leadership to be held after candidates for the position are vetted for their “genuine” commitment to fighting for the priorities and values of the working Americans.

“The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed,” Rubio wrote Friday on Twitter. “First we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like #Florida.”

Rubio is being joined by others in calling for a delay in appointing any leader for the Republicans until the two remaining seats are decided. That’s not counting Alaska, which is presumed to go Republican.

Saturday is expected to be the day that Nevada is completed and announced, which will decide who has the power in the Senate.

Although Kelly Tshibaka holds the lead for Senate against incumbent Murkowski, it’s widely understood by analysts and pollsters that the second-place votes for Democrat Pat Chesbro will be awarded to Murkowski, to allow her to get beyond the 50% threshold needed to win. As of Thursday, there are at least 32,736 ballots remaining to be counted at the Division of Elections, including 19,198 absentees, 13,538 early votes, and 1,549 questioned ballots. The next tranche of ballots will be counted and announced on Tuesday.

Downing: McConnell’s proxy war with Trump in Alaska is stuck on stupid

Breaking: Alaska Republican Party votes overwhelmingly to censure Sen. Mitch McConnell for attacking Republican Kelly Tshibaka

Tidal wave from Alaska Republicans: Three more committees resolve censures against Mitch McConnell attacks on candidate Kelly Tshibaka

Stampede: Growing referendum on Sen. Mitch McConnell by Alaska Republican committees furious over attack ads against Republican candidate Kelly Tshibaka


  1. Frank Murkowski begged his old Senate buddy Mitch McConnell, whom he worked with from 1980 to 2002, to save his daughter’s seat in the US Senate. Murkowski, now in his 90’s worked behind the scenes with McConnell to have money directed to Alaska and be spent in the form of negative ads against Kelly Tshibaka. Anyone who thinks that the Murkowskis didn’t want to continue their family power after 42 consecutive years, doesn’t understand the selfishness of the Murkowski Family. They thrive on it. And it has cost Alaska it’s independence and uniqueness as a state.

    • Great observation, didn’t think of that (because I’m not a swamp dweller)
      S. Palin & M. McConnell …. both pos’s imo.
      I wonder if Sarah is in DC right now discussing her role in the ‘Freedom Caucus’ since, in her mind, she is our new Congressperson ….lol.

    • Ted, where did you gain this insight that Frank Murkowski has been working with Mitch McConnell to attack Kelly Tshibaka? It seems like something that might happen, but this is the first reporting of this that I’ve seen. Was this in one of the Alaska Republican Party district letters to Senator McConnell? I would have thought MRAK would have had a feature article about such a thing if it were public.

      • Fan:
        Why do you think Frank and Nancy were completely out of sight this election cycle? Not a peep. Sources say they were in Petersburg the entire time (Nancy is from SE). When Frank picked Lisa instead of Johne Binkley in 2002, that was Nancy’s decision. It took Governor Frank six weeks to sheepishly pick his daughter. He said he made history. When Joe Miller beat Lisa in 2010, Frank and Nancy cheered Lisa on throughout her write-in campaign. Not in 2022. Frank and Nancy knew that Lisa was in a huge mess …… again. But their tactics changed. Frank summoned his old Senate buddy Mitch McConnell to help Lisa out financially. That’s how the good old boys in the Senate play. And the Murkowski family is just shameless enough, and selfish enough, to make it all work again for their spoiled little brat. The Murkowskis are not the good Alaskans that people used to believe in.

        • Ted,
          You were asked to provice support for your allegation, and you still have not provided it. Please point us to your documention that Frank corresponded with Mitch on behalf of Lisa in 2022.

  2. A lot of liberals have been moving to Arizona from liberal states like California, Illinois, etc. After these liberals flee the hellish conditions they’ve created in the states they’ve fled, they still vote for Democrats. They aren’t too smart.

    So Arizona is going blue.

    Masters wasn’t too smart. He claimed, without proof, that Trump won in 2020.

    • The proof is there in spades if one avails oneself to it. That Trump lost, is on its face, obviously false.

      Stop listening/watching the talking head pundits and use the inside of your head.


        • There are innumerable such links, and a mountain of such evidence, Lucinda, but in your rigid and blinkered, radical leftist ideological rut, you will refuse and do refuse to acknowledge or consider such evidence, all your bleatings to provide such evidence to the contrary.

          • Oh Jefferson. What evidence? Can you, will you, make it easy for me and provide just ONE link to a stone in your mountain of evidence?

          • It has been done and provided for you innumerable times, Lucinda. You simply refuse to look at it and acknowledge it.
            You can drag a radical leftist horse to water, but you can’t make it think.

  3. Naw. We only continue to damage the Alaska Republican brand if we now look backward. Lisa would have lost had the other Republican been smarter and a more experienced candidate. An attorney only recently moved here from D.C., and with only government experience was a hard sell to conservative Alaskans who only look in on politics every other November. Having the Trump endorsement is OK, but it cannot be the main event. McConnell’s loyalty to Lisa wouldn’t have helped Lisa much at all had her opponent had an opponent been someone with a story in the way that Peltola told a story. Having a father from Nebraska who taught in the bush is a better than average Alaska story; having a husband from Africa is not. For gosh sakes, when she was a state commissioner she had state employees working from home in the State of Washington!

    Alaska Republicans need to waste no more years debating the PFD while 49 other states build their economies. Our Alaska producing economy today is smaller than at any time in the past 50 years! We need to rid ourselves of ranked choice voting instead of worrying about the 2023 PFD. If Alaskans elected to the Legislature this month choose to organize with Democrats rather than with all Republicans they will damage Alaska far more than whatever we think Lisa has done. We seem to think that the big question is how do we support this huge state government while paying a large PFD next time we have $50 oil. The much more important question is what will we really have for an economy when the total number of Alaska residents working in mining, petroleum, agriculture and fish processing is smaller than the number of Alaska residents working in any one of the larger state departments? Alaska has the largest per capita government employment and the least output to show for it (anyone surprised?), and we cannot blame McConnell for any of it. Lisa thinks her job is to bring as much federal money to Alaska to waste as possible, and I doubt she understands that doesn’t help build our economy.

    • Why would/should anybody put up with a grossly incompetent incumbent just because the challenger isn’t a perfect candidate? We know what we’re getting with another 6 years of Lisa. Maybe Kelly is less than ideal as a candidate, but who isn’t? She’s the option we had, so give her a chance. And besides, what kind of conservative is it that looks in on politics only every other November? Shame on them!! True conservativism is a 24/7 mission of vigilance.

      • Not liking Senator Murkowski is not the same thing as being incompetent. It seems like most Alaskans would like to see another six years of “getting what we get”–things like federal dollars to build out infrastructure, from urban centers to rural villages. Kelly didn’t have to be the candidate, but many Republicans are so tied to Trump’s opinion, that’s the candidate Republicans got–based on how that went in the Lower 48, it seems like a large part of the country is ready to move on (from Trump and the 2020 elections). You don’t have to agree with the sentiment, but that appears to be what happened in multiple races.

    • He WANTED defeat!! majority leaders have to actually work and produce. Losing is easy. You still get paid, regardless

  4. Blake Masters did not lose because he lacked money. Plenty of Republicans poured enormous sums of money into his campaign. Blake Masters lost for the same reason so many other R’s lost: he was supported by Trump and was viewed as too extreme by voters. Until the Republican Party realizes that Trump is toxic to most voters, and starts nominating conservatives who don’t espouse delusional conspiracy theories to placate Trump and the MAGA cult, it is going to continue to lose elections it should have won. 2022 should have been a great year for Republicans. The fact that the Dems will retain control of the Senate, and the Republican majority in the Senate will be razor thin, should be a wake up call for conservatives that Trump and the MAGA crowd are a fringe group who cannot win national elections.

    • OR, it could just be that the voting system has been sufficiently gamed and corrupted by the power-that-be, who of course favor radical leftist Democrats, to disallow the Republican wave to manifest.
      Face it, Rick: the voting system in this country is increasingly opaque, intermediaried, compromised and illegitimate.

  5. Dems are going to have the senate +RINO Murkowski, thanks to ranked choice and the smear campaigns. It’s a shame.

    I believe the loss in Arizona is due to mail in/drop box voting and a faulty system for verifying and counting ballots. I watched the full senate hearing on the 2020 election in Maricopa County. It’s a mess down there. The national media only reports snippets that make the democratic party look good and act like the Republicans are “extremists” or “election deniers” for asking questions about it. There are legit issues with the election process in Maricopa County.

    So yes, McConnell is part of the problem and he should not be in leadership of the senate. There are more election issues that we should be talking about though.

  6. So the API called it and it’s over? Huh, I was always under the impression that we needed to count ballots.

    • AP called it so the public would know the outcome based on the math. It’s not official until it’s certified by the State. Don’t get your undies in a bunch–all of the ballots will be counted. And regardless of outcome, a large number of people will be upset.

  7. Very likely. But Masters wouldn’t owe him the way Princess does.

    One can also ask if Trump had spent some of his $100 mil on Masters, would that have helped? Again, probably.

    Truth is, this is another Trump induced loss. Steve Doocy was much more electable, but he didn’t want to have to deal with Trump throwing bombs from the sidelines.

  8. Mark Kelly was the better candidate. No amount of money would of saved him. Funny how MRAK highlights Bronson’s military career while skipping over that of Mark Kelly.

  9. Mark Kelly was not just an astronaut, he was closely connected with the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope. So Masters had a very strong headwind to overcome. I am not surprised that it didn’t happen. As for information that Frank Murkowski might have called in a few tabs from an old colleague, that also would not surprise me. When I was younger, I saw more of that political world close up and connections, just like in business or any other profession, were ultimately what got you what you needed or wanted. We are, after all, in spite of our modernity, essentially still a world of tribes. The difference is that now we call ourselves, Republicans, Democrats, politicians, lawyers, et. And we tend to hang out with those with whom we have something in common with. We call it our world.

  10. Consider some history: In 1994, the Contract With America produced a huge red wave – and the devastation of reelecting Bill Clinton 2 years later… McConnell may be a demon-possessed rear-end of a constipated steer, but he is not stupid. Could it be that he is trying to preserve the presidency and control of congress for the 2024 Republicans? We have just enough with a US House majority to keep AOC from claiming the Speakership and Full-of-Schiff from being majority leader – and possibly enough to hold the alt-left at bay. I’m disappointed – VERY disappointed. Brandon and the d’rats have cost me my retirement. Ultimately, we need control of schools, elimination of the cancel culture, and a very much larger media presence before the conservative message and ideals for a free and prosperous America will ever come to fruition. Be thankful this shellacking was not much worse. We have a lot of work to do my friends.

    • “In 1994, the Contract With America produced a huge red wave”
      Newt and Dole had the Contract with America.
      McConnell has nothing. Where is his contract? Where was the plan if the Republicans won both houses of Congress?
      It does not exist. And, that is one of many reasons why the Republicans did as poorly as they did. No vision, nothing to aspire to. Why vote for a GOP candidate if we can expect the same old, same old?

  11. I was in Arizona for most of the two months before the election. Masters had almost no TV presence while the communists had a drumbeat of “extremism” on TV 24/7 that went largely unanswered. He and Kari Lake had some team advertising and I don’t know how much of it he was paying for, but none of it directly addressed the stinging “extremist” advertising, especially regarding Social Security. They ran a clip of Masters saying “maybe it is time to privatize” SS over and over with seniors carrying on about his taking their life savings. I never heard a response.

    • Again, can only wonder what might have happened if Trump put some of his war chest behind his hand picked candidate.

      Doocy (sp?) would have easily beaten Kelly. But he didn’t want the headache of Trump throwing bombs from the sidelines.

      So in a very real sense Trump screwed Arizona (and the US) twice in one race.

  12. It is pretty obvious from the trail of McConnell money that he supported any candidate that would vote for him as leader, and undercut any that was not going to vote for him to lead. Did not matter whether it was majority or minority leader to Mitch, just as long as he remained the GOP Senate leader.

    • I personally sent an email to Senator Sullivan expressing my desire he not vote for McConnell for Leadership. I will wait and see what he does and if he does vote for McConnell than I will be against his reelection effort in 2 years if decides to run again.

  13. This was pure revenge politics. Even at the cost of his losing his own party’s dominance in the Senate, the old turtle got even with Trump, just like John McCain’s 2017 revenge “No” vote on repealing obamacare. To make it worse, McConnell doubled the insult by not only pulling funds that could have helped Masters win, but by then using that money to help Murkowski beat another Trump candidate, Tshibaka.

    Somehow, I don’t believe the Senate republicans will have the courage to kick him out of his leadership role.

  14. Birds of a feather:

    Schumer: I’m Meeting with McConnell to Push for Ditching ‘MAGA Republicans’


  15. There is one party in Washington, the Uniparty. Disagreements are theatrics and drama to give the appearance there is an actual opposition to the dismantling of a constitutional Republic. McConnell, Murkowski, the late Don Young, the groomed for dynasty ascension Begich are all machine politicians along with their Democrat counterparts. Ranked Choice Voting was installed to retain Murkowski and prevent an option for the voters to stray off the reservation and disrupt McConnell and Schumers power lock in the senate. Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania all have gone to ballot counting vs. vote counting elections. The outcomes are critical for a very small number of elites to control absolute power over the masses while plundering the wealth of what was once a sovereign nation. Managed election outcomes are being confused with free election results of tabulating the will of the citizens, a system which us older people grew up with, but those under 30 never have known or will ever participate in.

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