Murkowski leads, Tshibaka close behind for Senate

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Kelly Tshibaka trails Sen. Lisa Murkowski, but not by very much, in the race for U.S. Senate. The leading challenger to Murkowski did surprisingly well on Tuesday, posing a real challenge to Alaska’s senior senator. With 277 of 402 precincts reporting, and 142,051 votes so far, the current standing is:

  • Lisa Murkowski, Republican incumbent: 61,503, 43.30%
  • Kelly Tshibaka-Republican: 58,257, 41.01%
  • Pat Chesbro-Democrat: 8,810, 6.20%
  • Buzz Kelley-Republican: 3,148, 2.22%

The top three will be heading to the November ballot, and fourth-place Buzz Kelley also looks like he can retain his position for that ranked choice ballot

Murkowski has never broken 50% in an Alaska election, and as an incumbent, her results tonight have to be concerning. They mean that over 57% of the voters did not pick her, but chose an alternative among the 18 other choices on the Aug. 16 primary ballot. In 2016, she won reelection with 44.4% of the vote in the general election.

Ranked choice voting was supposed to change all that and was designed to help her win this election.

Leading up to the final-four rounds in November, she will have to make the case to voters that she is somehow better than Tshibaka, who has criticized her relentlessly during the past 18 months and has the endorsement of Donald Trump. Even with Democrat Pat Chesbro’s second-round votes, Murkowski does not reach the 50+1 that she would need to win. But there is a path for her, and she has a massive campaign war chest, plus outside groups that will come to her aid.

For Tshibaka, it’s a David and Goliath contest.

“This is just the first step in breaking the Murkowski monarchy’s grip on Alaska, as voters have clearly indicated that it’s time for a change in our representation in the Senate. As I have traveled across Alaska – enough miles to circumnavigate the globe – Alaskans tell me they want a new senator who listens to their concerns and votes in alignment with their values. After 21 years in the Senate, in a seat she was appointed to by her father which she funds with dark money from outside our state, Lisa Murkowski cares more about her status with the Washington, D.C. insiders than she does about what the people here at home think,” Tshibaka said in a statement.

“Tonight’s results also demonstrate that voters have clear choices. We already know that Murkowski says one thing in Alaska and then does the complete opposite in D.C. And we know that people on both sides of important issues – like abortion and the 2nd Amendment – can’t trust her because she’s always speaking out of both sides of her mouth. For Democrats, there is also a clear option in Pat Chesbro, who at least is honest about where she stands on issues,” she said.

Murkowski’s campaign did not release a statement on Tuesday night.

100 COMMENTS

    • That’s rank choice for you. Most people voting had no real idea that a vote for one person can push a second choice to the top.
      Pretty sleezy shite.

      • There was no ranked-choice voting in the open primary phase of the election. Each voter could cast one vote. Ranked-choice will come into play in November when the top-four primary contenders will be on the ballot.

    • Here and I thought it was one man, one vote.
      Shucks.
      Look, last night, I was too lazy to cast more than one vote.
      I have one pick, and if I lose honestly…
      I can live with it.
      I don’t vote for losers.

      • You cast one vote because one vote is all that was allowed in the open primary. But your single vote gave you a chance to send one of four candidates to the general election in November.

  1. Sure looks like Lisa will take it in November. She deserves to be returned to the Senate as a reward for not going along with Trump’s Big Lie. An honorable woman. So many others in the GOP have sold their souls…

    “I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.” – Arliss Sturgelewski.

    • Obviously.
      That is why the primary vote came out the way it did. Seriously, why did the only D with any kind of a platform come in 3rd with a tiny portion of the Murkowski vote? Because Dems are voting for Murkowski this election.

    • Yes, but there are almost twice as many registered Republicans than Democrats in the state and a lot of Independents too. Encourage every conservative you know to vote. Every 18 year old to register now. People need to know that they were deceived by ballot measure 2. It wasn’t about keeping dark money out of the state but a trick to get Murkowski re-elected.

  2. Murkowski likely received all the Dems voteS. Look at the democrat candidate Chesbro tally and compare it to Gara and Walker combined for Governor. They received 45k while Chesbro got 2k. This why rank choice open primary was created.

    • Bingo!
      There is a reason why I support closed primaries. If you are not a registered member of the party, you should not have a say in who the party puts on the general election.
      .
      If the primaries were only open to registered Dems or Republicans, Murky would have significantly less votes than Kelly. Trevor has it right. Odds of Gara and Walker getting that many more votes that the leading Democrat for Senate are low, very low. The November General Election ticket would be Tshibaka vs. Chesbro with a few independents/write ins.

  3. Appears that all the demoncrats voted for the Baby Killer Lisa. How nice that they can finally claim her as their own.

  4. As I am still fairly green to AK (but not green to politics), can someone please explain to me why Murkowski gets so much support here? She is awful at her job and is regarded very poorly elsewhere. Does nepotism run that deep here? What am I missing?

    • She parades around in the native communities along the likes of the Messiah. I don’t understand what kind of hold she has on natives in Alaska. When I left two years ago she wasn’t held in as high esteem as she did when she went on the I’ll teach you how to spell my name tour. That was back when she couldn’t even get her own party to nominate her. Now with so many people disliking her because she has been forced to expose herself as a true Democrat, it’s more like she has to go into a witness protection program to campaign in her own state. She was down at that gasoline giveaway the other day and a bunch of people were pissed off wondering what the hell she’s doing there? The Dems will always vote for their own kind and in this case it is Murky, but Republicans in the state of Alaska still have the majority and if they show up and do their job Lisa is done for.

      • She’s not in with the Natives in general. She’s in with only the Native leadership. That Native leadership pressures the rank and file to vote for her. Still. Lisa gets far fewer Native votes than advertised, so we’re not all that much to blame for her. That’s not counting the great majority of Natives who have never voted, and likely will never.

    • The Dems like her stance on abortion and “womens rights”. I’m assuming that’s why so many voted for her. Its not so much they like her, but they hate Trump. The left will vote against a Trump candidate.

      • Natives don’t get abortions though. They don’t even understand the concept of killing one of their babies. Most of their culture is still involved in the old school way of a household where the men are the hunters and the women tend house and get a village job if one is available.

    • Few things.
      1. People tend to vote for the incumbent. Nothing to do with their performance, or any other factor, but those who are not well informed about politics will just select the person currently holding the seat.
      2. Since 2016, Murkowski has done nothing except cultivate and cater to the Democrat voters. Her votes against Trump appointees and for, at least, one Biden appointee made that abundantly clear.
      3. She is pro-choice, so the abortion rights activist support her.
      There are a lot of other reasons as well, but those are the big three in my book.
      .
      A lot of people only get their information about candidates from their ads, or newspaper endorsements. They do not really track politics that closely. And, I have to admit it, the Murkowski campaign ads are pretty good this time around. if I was not watching politics, I might question my support for Kelly T. Add to that, the news media is all over leftists, and Murkowski is a leftist. So, expect the major AK papers to endorse her for Senate.

    • What’s missing is the context: this is still a “red” state, but it’s not all extremist. Like most of the country, there is a large pragmatic center. And as this is a “red” state, there’s a small liberal/progressive wing, and a lot of very pragmatic Democrats. As it turns, Senator Murkowski isn’t a bomb thrower and she keeps trying to move things forward, whether the state’s right flank cares for it or not. MRAK has featured a couple of “articles” about Project Veritas making some sort of dramatic uncovering that the Murkowski camp was all in on rank choice voting–of course they were, they understand that a large portion of this state do not support the Joe Millers (the candidate she beat as a write in) or attention seeking do-nothings like Green, Boehbart, or Cawthorne.

      • Z, using your logic one must conclude that the large pragmatic center in Alaska rightly voted for Trump.

    • I don’t know a single person who supports her, and I have lived here for 20 years. It is sooooooo mysterious.

    • Lisa Murkowski has brought billions to this State. All of which support our Mining, Energy, Military, Fishing, and Tourism industries, their workers-their families. Our local Alaskan economies appreciate the results of Senator Murkowski of helping Alaska prosper. Have you been reading the infrastructure news and the recent billions she has delivered for Alaska? Obviously, to the majority of Alaska voters… Results and deliverables matter.

      Since you are new to Alaska, you might not be aware that Senator Murkowski lost the R primary in 2010 and then won the General election as a write-in candidate despite the handicap of the legal requirement of spelling out her last name-exactly.

      Let’s be blunt. The primary race was not even close 44% Murkowski to 39%. Some 6000 vote difference. Expect and bank on a Deja Vu Murkowski win come November regardless of all the rhetoric and whining to the contrary.

      • There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since those times. They didn’t vote for the incumbent Parnell. Lots of people in Alaska get voted out. Yes alot of that Federal money did come to the state but it was going to come anyway it isn’t anything that she did specially. She didn’t get the road built at it cold bay. Mostly she gets a phone call and is Johnny on the spot to make an appearance and take credit for something where the credit should be given to the governor. Her job isn’t to govern, but be the state’s peoples representative in Washington. She isn’t qualified to govern.

    • She gets the Alaska Native vote for her Pro Choice stand for abortion. Alaska has the highest rate per capita for rape in the nation, mainly among Alaskan natives.

  5. This election is a referendum on the Alaska Constitution and maintains a right to privacy between a woman and her doctor

  6. “The top three will be heading to the November ballot, and fourth-place Buzz Kelley also looks like he can retain his position for that ranked choice ballot.”

    I am confused by this statement Suzanne, are you saying that all 4 will advance to the Nov election?

  7. Surprise of the night, I figured Kelly T would lose by 12- 15 to Lisa.

    This is going to change a lot of voter’s minds as they see Kelly has a real shot. I’m going to a fund raiser tonight for Kelly, will bring my checkbook. I expect others to be there as well.

    • True, Kelly does have a good shot, particularly as the great majority of the “other choice” voters in this primary election will choose her rather than Murky in the general election. Contributions to Tshibaka! And I will NOT cast a second-ranked vote for Murky in November.

  8. Democrat Pat Chesbro has a mere 6.2% of the vote? So, about 30,000 registered Democrats had to have voted for Murky, which explains why our RINO senator wasn’t crushed yesterday by Kelly, who is enthusiastically supported by the great majority of Alaska’s Republican (and many nonaffiliated) voters. Ranked choice ballot… bah!

    • Open primaries are the real problem.
      .
      What logic is there allowing a Democrat to have any say in which candidate the Republicans put on the ballot in Nov? And, vice versa.
      .
      Close the primaries down. Only registered party members should have a say in who represents that party in the general election. Independents/non-declared, you have a choice. Decide which party is most closely aligned with your ideals, and register with them, or lose your chance to select candidates to represent the two major parties.

  9. Frankie, we have to leave Alaska right away. Lisa is going to cause a civil war in the 49th state. Her Democrat supporters are a bunch of chickens and won’t protect you or myself. And House Husband is as good as castrated.

    • I’m cashing in our banked miles with Alaska Airlines right now, Nancy. I even have our BLM shirts to wear on the plane at SeaTac. Goodbye cruel Alaska!

      • Your choice of shirts will likely get you bumped up to first class in Seattle. I’ll have to bunch of miles on my Alaska airlines account knowing full will that I would never fly with them again. When I left two and a half years ago, it was in the early days of coven and everybody was wearing masks back then. All but the flight attendants who had their masks pulled to the side so they could strike up a friendly conversation with the guy across the aisle from me in first class. Those same flight attendants are the one that are kicking people out and brow beating them now.

  10. your assertion “with Pat Chesbro’s second-round votes, Murkowski does not reach the 50+1”; is adding the percentages shown (with 7% of the total ascribed to yesterdays primary voters that voted for the other 15 candidates on the ballot that wont advance to the 4 slots on the general election ballot in Nov.

    Murkowski + Chesbro yesterday (thus far) have 49.5% of yesterdays votes; but 53.4% of yesterdays votes cast for the top 4 candidates advancing to the general.
    IF Murkowski gets all Chesbro’s second round votes the only way they don’t have 50%+1 is if the 7% that voted for any of the 15 candidates not advancing all vote for Kelly ahead of Lisa.

    Murkowski is in better position than you suggest. You seem to be forgetting that percent returns from yesterday include 10K votes in the denominator for candidates not advancing to November.

    • The analysis in this story also ignores all of the cries of election fraud and fear that Republicans have of absentee voting, so there could be a slug of additional votes coming for Senator Murkowski that have yet to be counted.

  11. I am wondering if some people were just looking for “Kelly” in that crowded list of candidates and marked Buzz by mistake. An issue the Tschibaka campaign should address, as all her signs simply say “Kelly”. It will be better with just 4 names on the ballot. What do we know about Buzz??

    • If that’s the case, it doesn’t say much about the quality of the voter. Then again, these are probably the same people that think Italian satellites changed votes for former president Donald Trump to votes for President Biden.

      • Actually it doesn’t say much about the quality of the voting process. Voting should be clear cut and straight forward, as it is everyone’s primary civic responsibility and obligation. However when you have over 40 names on the ballot for one position AND they are not alphabetically sorted, the field becomes convoluted and difficult to work with. Even the most diligent voter can make a mistake under those circumstances. This is why party primaries are superior. They narrow down the candidates to the preferred person and present that individual at the general. This system is design to obfuscate and confuse.
        BTW Z your preconceived notions are showing again…. so sad.

  12. With only 277 of 402 precinct votes in, Kelly can still surpass Murkowski, and I can almost bet she will once the votes are all in. We Alaskans are sick and tired of RINO Murkowski and we want her gone! Time to eliminate the Murkowski dynasty once and for all.

  13. Shame. Would have been nice to see four Republicans heading to the final ballot in Nov.
    That would get the leftists all angry, and might help kill RCV.

  14. Murkowski has only prevailed because she was part & parcel to the ranked choice voting scheme illegally foisted on Alaskans by the Washington, DC political elites, a powerful, corrupt cult that she so desperately strives to become a permanent member of! Time to rid the nation of these neo-aristocrats.

  15. “Ranked choice voting was supposed to change all that and was designed to help her win this election.” it was a ballot initiative voted for by the public. What kind of journalistic statement is this?

    • Murkowski’s staff deceitfully helped spearhead ranked choice. She would undoubtedly lose in a Republican primary. Democrats are voting for her only because they know the democrat has no chance, otherwise Lisa would be in 3rd place.

    • It is a statement supported by a Project Veritas undercover video interview with the architects and proponents of RCV.

    • Surprise! Republicans can’t accept any election outcome that doesn’t put their preferred candidate on top.

      • You mean Hillary and Al Gore and all of congress that sent the nation on a 3 year wild goose chase in Russia were republicans! Where did you hear this? Stop the presses.

      • There is a difference between griping, and not accepting.
        Chuck is griping. It is obvious to anyone with half a functioning brain cell. The Surprise, surprise! might have tipped you off. But, then again, leftists generally tend to assume everyone except themselves is an uneducated idiot.

  16. Alaska has many stupid uninformed people, I don’t know if they are transplants from outside or locals. The last thing Alaska needs is more Democrats and Lisa Murkowski in Washington DC. Haven’t you all been paying attention to what they are doing to our economy and oil industry. Lisa is a democrat, nothing more, she supports their policies and attacks our freedoms…

    • Interesting observation since the Pikka development (large new North Slope oil field) just got approval in its Final Investment Decision to move forward with the Nanushuk Project. And Senator Murkowski is continuing to push for ConocoPhillips’ Willow project.

      • And, Murkowski also cast the deciding vote to install Haaland in the Department of the Interior.
        So, there can be thousands of decisions saying yes develop, but Haaland will not allow the actual development to proceed.
        Murkowski either knew this when she voted, or she is a moron. Neither is good for AK.

  17. Looks like it’s time to break out the checkbook and make another donation to Kelly’s campaign. With all the dark money being funneled into Lisa’s campaign from the Lower 48, Kelly needs all the help she can get.

  18. Make no mistake, the establishment of the Uniparty will steal this election from the people unless we get a Governor who is willing to stop the election fraud happening in this State. The only way to get good people in the legislature that will pass an election integrity bill, is to stop mail-in voting, repeal RCV and remove the Dominion Machines. These 3 things will lock in the Uniparty candidates against the will of voters and Alaska will just be an extension of California. Alaskans must press forward and pressure Dunleavy to end mail-in voting and remove the machines by executive order, then clean the voter rolls. The voters can start a referendum on ending RCV.

    ‘https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/08/rank-choice-voting-mail-ballots-debut-deep-red-alaska-democrat-may-now-likely-steal-us-house-seat-sarah-palin/

    • Make no mistake, you are greatly mistaken by clenching to the lies and delusions an election was stolen.

      Zero, absolutely zero evidence exists that supports your fanatical and delusional theories, no matter how loud Mike Lindell cries about it.

      Also, the only mail in voting for this election is absentee voting; which is reserved for those traveling away from home during said election, or those whom cannot access their polling location. Are you suggesting we eliminate absentee voting, and to eliminate the right to vote for disabled voters whom cannot get to the polls?

      • No, just stop blindly sending ballots to every person living or dead, it’s really not that hard to understand.
        If you don’t have any problems with 2020 then I’ll assume you didn’t have problems with 2016 or 2000 when bush beat gore. Somehow though from your clearly leftist rant it looks like your just happy your guy won.
        Also it’s hard to present your evidence when the leftist controlled courts and media shut you down. Again I’m sure your fine with this because your hero Joe got the win.
        We don’t want to limit voting to anyone,dummy. We want all “legal”voters to vote. Do you get it?

      • “…absolutely zero evidence exists…”
        Going to disagree with that. There is lots of evidence, and questionable events that indicates vote fraud. I have a feeling you are of the mindset that just because there has been no convictions it means nothing happened.
        .
        Reminder, the Maricopa county audit found tens of thousands of ballots that were cast illegally, and over a hundred thousand questionable ballots.
        And, several states determined the election committees/divisions knowingly and deliberately violated the election laws, which invalidates the ballots. But, those ballots were still counted.
        And… the list goes on.
        .
        The primary reason for none of these violations going to trial, or overturning the election results is because of the secret ballot system. Yes… we can determine that XYZ number of ballots were cast illegally, but which ones?
        .
        Do not pretend vote/election fraud does not exist solely because there have not been hundreds of convictions.

      • Zero evidence after evidence has been destroyed, misplaced, and pulling place workers possibly threatened. Don’t you remember all that going on in the middle of the night where when we went to bed Trump had easily won a state and then magically trucks pulled up with boxes and my daylight he was losing. And what went on in those polling places when they started papering up the window so that onlookers couldn’t see what was going on back there? Do you have any answers for these questions? The lack of evidence just means they got away with it it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re innocent

      • Matt – you are wrong about absentee voting. Anyone can request absentee voting, whether travelling, disabled or not. At least that has always been my experience as a 70 year old Alaskan voter.

    • I couldn’t have put it better than myself. People on here are asking me to give my second choice to a governor who stole my PFD, rigged elections in favor of Democrats, and stood by as the Dominion machines were installed. He is worse than a Democrat because he gives an air of legitimacy to the treason.

  19. What percent of spoiled votes voted for Kelly Tshibaka and Palin? What percent of spoilage was created in the tabulation and what were typical despoiled votes previously? Who is the winner? We used to know almost immediately. We’ll see I’m sure.

  20. Remember all the early voting in person ballots will not be counted until 7 days after the election as told to me by an election worker. There was a steady stream of people voting early on most of the days for the last 3 weeks. That could change up things as I know many who voted early and not for any of the current leaders. May God help us all.

  21. There really needs to be an in depth report done by a local journalist on Ballot Measure 2 and the organization behind it and how Murkowski has people tied to it. Or there should be a campaign to run ads to expose how deceitful it really is. Can’t believe Murkowski tells herself that she is a woman of integrity when she is deceiving those that put her in power. I would love one journalist to ask her why she considers herself a Republican and why she should get votes from republicans that believe less in unions and government having politics and political power and believe more in liberty and free markets. And if she is so strong about having integrity, why would she allow one party to basically use congress and primetime media to run a one sided political campaign? And why should Trump be impeached for asking a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent that is indeed guilty of using his position to get his son a job and to launder money and to cover things up. If she has so much integrity, shouldn’t she be thinking that Biden should be impeached too? Why aren’t any local journalists asking her these type of questions? Because journalists in this state are just like Lisa and are too busy flattering their own egos because they are too afraid of how bad they will look at themselves if they truly decide to be objective.

  22. PATHETIC Turnout! Only about 22% of voters took the time to cast a ballot in the primary. How does a society expect to make any measurable // meaningful difference when 78% of the electorate doesn’t even make it a personal priority to perform their civic duty to vote?!?!

  23. Well, I’ve had enough of this BS rank choice voting. I’m ready to sign a petition today to get rank choice voting canned.

  24. I’m with the others in here who know NOTHING about Buzz Kelly. It seems a bit beyond ironic. Murk’s team are probably behind that too. How does a complete unknown get over 3 thousand votes?

  25. Since barely 1/4 of the registered voters bothered to get off their butts and vote on Tuesday, I guess we get what we deserve. I’m beginning to think that those missing 3/4 voters really do not care at all about the economy, masking, the price of gas, foreign policy, brandon, the anchorage city council, and so on.

  26. This primary has proved at least one thing: the election integrity problems at Alaska DOE are worse than we ever imagined. I have not seen a more profoundly unpopular politician in Alaska since Frank Murkowski in 2006, who received only 19% in his own (closed) primary. The idea that Lisa Murkowski could pull 44% is preposterous. She “won” her 2010 write-in with just 38.8%; She supposedly received 44% in 2016 when she was even more unpopular than 2010; now in the 2022 primary where the Republican-leaning voter (85% of whom don’t support her) she maintains the same voters? Alaskans should demand an accounting for the tens of thousands of excess “registered voters” beyond the number of legal voting aged Alaskans. Demand a cessation of the use of voting machines. What is the point if you have to wait weeks to know the outcome anyway? These results do not pass the smell test.
    BTW – the reported “low voter turnout” is a hoax to cover for all the excess “registered voters” on the rolls that don’t exist. Turnout in this primary was above average when measured against the last 25 years. It only appears as a lower percentage because of all the fake “Alaska voters’ on the roll.

  27. For you policy-makers and gatekeeper out there who haven’t caught on yet and are not on the take, many of the excess voter registrations are likely a consequence of the hacked voter rolls. This is how the steal goes: hack the voter rolls, upload excess registrations, rig the machine count, backfill the ballots. All it takes is one or two people in key positions on the inside of DOE to pull it off. And of course, once the excess ballots are backfilled, all the recounts stay on schedule.

  28. For the sake of being complete, the Murkowski statement was, ““Alaskans made it clear they want a Senator who puts Alaska first, always. Seniority matters. Honesty matters and understanding the needs of Alaskans and being able to deliver on those needs matters,”

  29. Vote for the lesser of two evils this election season and with every election season. That’s what I always do!

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