Notes from the trail: Top polling analyst FiveThirtyEight projects a winner in Alaska congressional, Senate races


The Notes from the Trail series continues. Look for all the candidates at one parade or another this weekend. It will be hot from Fairbanks to Ketchikan, and those who forget their sunscreen will have to face the music in the mirror later.

The fundraisers are going strong in July, and there are plenty more where those came from. Above, a photo of Nick Begich, running for Congress, with Carlos Gomez, father of Scotty Gomez, at Bell’s Nursery, where Nick was having a fundraiser on Wednesday.

Peltola coming on strong: New events coming up next week include a fundraising party for Democrat Mary Peltola for Congress, which features many Democrats who previously supported Chris Constant, the Anchorage Assemblyman who received just 3.86% of the vote during the special primary election. Now, the Democrats have all moved to Camp Peltola.

The obvious in-your-face irony of the fundraiser is the address — it’s being held at Mark Begich-Deborah Bonito’s house. Mark is the uncle of Republican Nick Begich, who is running against Peltola and Sarah Palin for the congressional seat.

Even more curious is that on the list of co-hosts is Alice Rogoff, the former owner of the Anchorage Daily News, aka Alaska Dispatch. She is the publisher who all-but installed Bill Walker as governor in 2014.

Rogoff is still a registered voter in Alaska, although she did not vote in the state after 2020, and has sold her North Pointe Circle mansion in Anchorage.

Also on the list of co-hosts is former Gov. Tony and Susan Knowles, and Veronica Slajer, wife of DC lobbyist Jack Ferguson, who first supported Josh Revak for Congress. This is most certainly a high-roller event:

Andrew Gray: Speaking of Democrats, Andrew Timothy Gray, running for Alaska House of Representatives, recorded himself at his recent fundraiser and set it to music in this oddly entertaining campaign ad, in which we can see Anchorage School Board member Kelly Lessens listening intently to his dramatic presentation:

In addition to Gray in the race for House Seat 20 (under new numbering system), Republicans Jordan Harary and Paul Bauer are on the ballot. Gray has the support of the Alaska Democratic Party.

Jamie Allard: The same night as the Mary Peltola fundraiser, Alaska’s Jamie Allard has a fundraiser for her campaign for House District 23, happening at Chepo’s in Eagle River:

On July 6, Nick Begich for Congress will be in Kenai for a fundraiser at Paradiso’s Pizza.

The polling analyst Nate Silver, who runs the website, is projecting winners for all the House and Senate seats. For Alaska, he predicts that Nick Begich will win, as he wins in 70% of the simulations that the company ran using ranked choice voting. Mary Peltola gets 13% of the simulations, and Sarah Palin wins 10% of the simulations.

Read about it here.

Silvers is also predicting that U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has a smooth path to victory. In 100 simulations, she wins, 85 times, with Kelly Tshibaka winning 11 times and Edgar Blatchford winning 5 times. No sign of Democrat Pat Chesbro.

Bill Walker brings in Obama team: Bill Walkers’ campaign for governor launched an ad this weekend on the theme of “Mike Dunleavy has driven Alaska into the ditch.” Walker-Drygas’ new ad firm is GMMB, the huge national firm that did President Barack Obama’s campaign. And Joe Biden’s. And Kamala Harris’. And Bill Clinton’s. And Gretchen Whitmer for Governor of Michigan. And Charlie Crist for Congress, Florida. You get the drift.


  1. Hmmm… Palin garnered 29+% of the vote in the first go ’round and now Begich is projected to blow Palin out of the water?? Please tell me how that works. FYI: I’m done with Palin and don’t want her elected but, I certainly don’t want a progressive Dem anywhere near D.C. Those two campaigns need to get together and sort it out. As for Andrew Timothy Gray… I haven’t a clue how he could say that Alaska has a “progressive history”, at least not in the sense of his definition of progressive. His vocal intonations imply a limp-wristed progressivism which, IMHO, is politically convenient and nauseating. I’m COMPLETELY done with it. We all know how Murk can be re-elected via unions and native organizations and…. If repubs and conservatives get in a pissing match and not unifying and voting for Tshibaka.

    • “……..Please tell me how that works………..”
      Sorta’ like the January 6th “Hearings”. Create it in the media, and the drone-voters (and stuffed ballots) follow……..

  2. Nate Silver hasn’t been right in many years.
    By the way, Trafalgar is the only poll worth looking at. They have been very accurate in a field of horribly inaccurate polls.

    And any poll in Iowa will have the more conservative candidates handicapped by 5 points or more. Been that way for years. Last time Trump was supposed to win but Cruz did instead.

  3. Not gonna work when the GOP sacrificed their most gullible constituents to death for the cause of short-term popularity ‘

    We need real Republicans not carpet bagging posers like Tshibaka and Palin

    Trump got vaccinated while the rest of the GOP is sick, how selfish, so don’t follow the sheep to death. Alaskans are individuals and don’t need that DC bs

  4. From “” this revealing explanation of Alaska’s ranked-choice voting emerges:

    “The top four primary candidates will advance to the general election, which uses ranked-choice voting. If no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote in the first round of counting, the election advances to an “instant runoff.”

    The term “instant runoff” means you’re disenfranchised from voting if election results require a runoff.

    “The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and any votes for that candidate are then assigned to that voter’s next choice.”

    In other words, the system stuffs the ballot box for you. The votes for whomever you least wanted to win will now be given to whomever you -almost- least wanted to win.

    “This continues until only two candidates are left.”

    So, at the end of the day, or for how long the system and its human operators need, two candidates will be essentially picked for you.

    “In simulations where an ‘instant runoff’ is necessary, popular-vote margin is calculated using final-round vote shares (after all but two candidates have been eliminated).”

    What this means in plain English which say, a jury might need to understand, is alarmingly unclear.

    Note the use of the word “calculated” instead of “counted”. This is particularly disturbing terminology when voters don’t know whether proprietary Dominion vote tabulating gear can be programmed to do the “calculating”.

    If this and future elections are not being stolen right out from under voters’ noses, why must they be continually, almost nonstop, be reminded that they approved ranked choice voting by a tiny margin and, by the way, lots of “dark money” was involved to make it happen?

    What would assure voters they, in fact, approved rank choice voting and that a combination of corrupted voter rolls, ballot harvesting, and proprietary Dominion vote tabulating gear didn’t approve it for them?

    No amount of polling and projecting’s likely to replace a factual answer for either question.

    • You are spot on Morrigan! Not only do these machines have wireless modems that can be hacked into, they are programmed with a software algorithm that calculates to a desired outcome. They are pre-programmed to reflect a desired outcome and have already been examined by several electronics experts to prove they create a second data file that will reflect the desired outcome and hide the original file. Then the corrupt or unaware election official just counts the votes as given. Just like Brandon said, “It’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes”.

  5. Interesting that Walker is bringing on the Obama team to run his campaign. So he is listed as an “Independent” with a democrat running mate and a democrat-connected ad-firm. So how can he even still claim to be an “Independent” with all of these democrat connections? And where did the money come from to pay for the super national ad firm, GMMB? And why didn’t the democrats pour the money into Gara’s campaign? Why Walker? Talk about a setup! Alaskans beware!

  6. It’s a strange summer. Mark Begich, the guy who bankrupted Anchorage as mayor, and his transient wife who drifted into Alaska looking for opportunities, and ended up as a Juneau aide with lots of opportunities?. Bill Walker, the pedophile enabler……a very angry man, hell-bent on revenge against his fellow Alaskans. And Lisa Murkowski, a nitwit who couldn’t cut it as a state legislator, or as an attorney, until her daddy rescued her with an appointed seat. Yes, Alaska is a haven for misfits, miscreants, halfwits, and soul-less politicians.

  7. Nate Silver? Seriously? I wouldn’t believe him id hew told me it was raining outside and I was standing in a downpour. He and his organization burned their legitimacy card long ago. How about looking at honest polling, such as Rich Baris (the People’s Pundit)?

    • There is not an edit button, so I can not correct my spelling mistakes. A future warning for posting when one first wakes up and the brain is not quite awake..

  8. With less than 30% voting in the Special Election Primary, turnout will be most important to the winning candidate. There will be a tidal wave of political media in the next two months.

  9. Ha, ha…. Looks like establishment Begich backers are running scared and have to pull out the phony pollsters to keep his campaign alive. Pathetic!

  10. eh? Just call it Dominion Voting Systems dot com. Sarah won the special election by double digits and Kelly has been ahead of the traitor Murkowski by double digits from the beginning. This polling system is a farce and the only way the RINOS Begich & Murkowski can win is election fraud, which I believe will happen as it just happened again in Georgia and Colorado. In Georgia, Kemp and Raffensberger were predicted to lose since they had zero support from Georgia voters and they won BIG! Kemp was at 52% and falling in the polls and ended up winning by 72%. In Colorado, Tina Peters (a Navy Seal Mom) was up big time against Pam Anderson (a Mark Zuckerberg plant). Coloradans came out big for Tina who was expected to win by double digits in the Secretary of State race and lost to Anderson who was polling in the twenties! This is what the corrupt establishment does, they use the Dominion Machines, Mail-in drop boxes and voter registration rolls that haven’t been cleaned to get the additional fake votes. If American Citizens don’t stand up to their corrupt politicians and force election integrity, it will continue. Alaska has the same corrupt system and I have been sending Dunleavy e-mail after e-mail with no response. Alaskan’s must be watchdogs in the coming election, poll watchers and volunteers needed! Expose anything you see wrong and call Dunleavy to petition him for removal of the Dominion Machines from our State that have wireless modems in them. Also, there needs to be election officials oversite on anyone working for Dominion. CISA already confirmed the Dominion Machines are hackable. Kelly and Sarah need a litigation plan now! Make no mistake, the establishment does not want America First Candidates in office and will stop at nothing to steal our elections again like in 2020.

    • Michael Johnson,
      I think you’ve been mislead. Nick Begich is not a RINO. In fact every one in my family and most of my astute long time friends are voting for Nick and Kelly. Imagine that!
      Please stop lumping Nick supporters with Lisa. BTW, we need to elect people capable of doing the job. That’s why we have chosen Nick and Kelly.
      Thanks Michael. BTW, didn’t Sarah support Bill Walker?

      • Didn’t Nick Begich support Ethan Berkowitz over Amy Dembowski in the Anchorage mayoral election? If that doesn’t scream RINO – what does?
        Begich comes from rhe most liberal political family in Alaska politics.
        The same “conservatives” that are supporting Begich all supported Nepotism Lisa over Joe Miller
        Please give me one conservative bona fides of Begich – waiting.
        Oh yeah, he shoots guns in his political ads, he must be conservative? That’s the biggest RINO tell there is, someone trying to be something they are not.

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