Notes from the forum: At a KINY radio forum in Juneau on Monday, the three Alaska congressional candidates on the special general election ballot were asked about everything from the economy to ranked choice voting. For an hour they took turns answering questions from two reporters seated on the other side of a small studio table.
Mary Peltola, the Democrat, said she was optimistic about ranked choice voting weeding out the more extreme candidates. Neither Sarah Palin nor Nick Begich were favorable to the new system, which passed by a very narrow margin in 2020 via Ballot Measure 2.
Polling shows that Peltola will probably win the first round of voting on the ranked choice ballot, and has an actual path to win, but only if Palin edges out Begich for second place. Polling shows Palin, with her high disapproval rating, can’t beat Peltola, which would hand the victory to the Democrat in the second round of counting.
Forum watchers noted both Palin and Peltola studied their notes continuously during the hour and that Palin often read her answers from her notes. Begich did not have notes for the forum.
Peltola appeared better prepared and was more relaxed than Palin; Palin was nervous and scribbling on her notes during much of the hour. Peltola was observed in the video of the forum taking a surreptitious photo of Palin’s notes, which were covered with Palin scribbles. Palin would not make eye contact with either of her opponents, and was seated between them at the table.
In the outer office of the studio was Palin’s boyfriend, Ron Duguay, the retired Florida hockey player formerly with the New York Rangers, who was visibly stressed, rubbing his brows, and keeping his eyes closed during most of the forum as it went down in the other room. Palin’s entourage of three included her campaign manager Chris Perry and Perry’s husband. Peltola arrived alone, and Begich arrived with his campaign manager Truman Reed.
Watch the body language during the forum at YouTube:
Juneau fundraisers: A fundraiser for Sarah Palin on July 31 and a fundraiser meet-and-greet for Nick Begich both brought out crowds. The candidates are running for Congress.
Shining Path: Bill Walker says he has a clear pathway for winning the governor’s race in November. He’s redefining “clear pathway” in the way President Joe Biden is redefining recession.
His poll logic boils down to this: His poll by Hays Research Group says that he is within the margin of error if you just test Walker against Gov. Dunleavy. It says Les Gara, the Democrat in the race for governor, is doing a lot less well against Dunleavy than Walker is doing.
But he doesn’t show the numbers for how any of the three do in the three- or four-way race. In other words, in the real world of ranked choice voting, Walker is hiding the numbers, which must indicate that he is the spoiler that hands the win to Dunleavy.
From the way-back machine, Walker’s last race, and his last poll:
Endorsements: The Sealaska Board of Directors on Monday endorsed Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas for Alaska Governor and lieutenant governor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the race for U.S. Senate, and the directors will oppose the ballot measure that would initiate a constitutional convention in Alaska. Last week the board endorsed Mary Peltola for Congress.
Yupiit Nation Chief Mike Williams of Akiak has endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski for reelection.