Peltola widens lead some more over Palin

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A nearly 9 point difference has opened up between candidates Mary Peltola and Sarah Palin for the temporary seat for Congress. The Bethel Native has nearly 40% of the votes in the Aug. 16 special general election to finish the term of Congressman Don Young.

Of 187,919 votes counted in this race thus far, Pelota now has 39.64%, Palin has 30.94%, and Nick Begich has 27.84%. Begich is staying 3 points behind Palin as the counting has continued and more absentee mail-in ballots are processed by the Division of Elections.

Peltola’s margin has increased over yesterday, when she had 39.25% out of the 180,194 ballots that had been counted.

Any valid ballots that were postmarked before midnight on Aug. 16 that arrive by Aug. 31 will be counted, with only a few more expected to trickle in over the weekend. The Division of Elections will then run the calculation for where the voters for Nick Begich wanted their second choice to go — Pelota, Palin, or nobody. To win, Palin has to get two votes for every one that Peltola gets from the Begich ballots.

Alaska voters approved this ranked choice ballot system in 2020 and this election is the first time it has been used. It is being widely criticized for being difficult to understand and for delaying the process for knowing who the winner is, since the ranked choice process will not take place until Aug. 31.

District 9, which is the South Anchorage hillside formerly made up of old District 28, had an over 50.9% voter turnout. Peltola received 45% of the vote from the South Anchorage hillside, with Begich getting 32% and Palin coming in at 20%.

61 COMMENTS

    • You said brother! This is rigged for sure and unless Nick drops out and endorses Sarah, we will be stuck with a communist hostile to the 2nd Amendment. Peltola is a gun control fanatic and will be pushing for Biden’s gun grab bills. If Nick truly loves this country, he will drop out and back Sarah.

      • Isn’t it interesting, how you folks are always blaming Nick for the problems. First he is a democrat, than a RINO, now he is at fault if Palin can’t win. But wait, Nick ranked Sarah second, so did I, and Nick encouraged folks to do that for Alaska. Nick was in this race long before Palin and actually had the backbone to challenge Don Young and Tara Sweeney on issues based on conservative principles that only Sarah Palin won’t dare do. In fact, Palin endorsed Walker/Mallot, praise Tara Sweeney, stated she loves Mary Peltola in an Anchorage Forum a couple months ago, and if Palin would have endorsed Nick the actual conservative running months before her; we would not be in this position.
        Clearly, it is not Nick’s fault and getting out of the race doesn’t change rank choice voting, nor Sarah’s position. If folks didn’t rank her second, how in the world would they have ranked her first anyway….

        • Actually, I voted for Nick second to address you and John above. I have serious questions about Nick that have never been addressed by him or his supporters. That is why I placed Sarah first! The key point here is to stop Mary Pelota who will just place her puppet strings on and follow the rest of the corrupt crowd that is ushering in the demise of our country.

        • And, I am sure all the dedicated leftists will swear that RCV is awful, and needs to be abolished.
          .
          Seriously, I would rather have Petola win with <40% of the total vote, than go through this RCV crap.

    • And when socialist Petola gets into office, I am sure you will be happy with making your stand. Meaningless and futile stand, but still a stand.

  1. Key word of the day “RANK”.
    In November that sure fits the current Senator up for election. Incredibly RANK, why vote?

  2. This post-election delay has been a feature of Alaska law since forever. Ballots postmarked by Election Day have 10 days to arrive. That period is extended to 15 days for general election ballots that are mailed from overseas.

    In years past, we paid no attention to this legal waiting period. It was usually obvious who had won long before that.

      • That small group you refer to would be the majority of Alaska voters a couple of years back. Do you think the will of the majority should be overturned because Republicans don’t like it and Democrats largely do? Is that supporting the Constitution and being a patriot?

  3. Fake News. Nobody is going to win 50% +1 vote. The Ranked Choice Voting system we are “so fortunate” to use in Alaska will drop Begich. Palin will get most of his second-place votes and Palin will be elected. This news story is just Democrat fear porn. Palin wins. Nothing to see here, move on everybody.

    • Not so sure. There was a lot of “encouragement” on this site and others for Republicans to only vote their first choice.

  4. If she wins, she will be right at home with Pelosi , AOC and the SQUAD. In a couple of years the whole State will look like Glenn Allen.

  5. Most conservatives I know don’t like the ranked choice system at all. Some liberals like to think that’s just because Peltola is in the lead and republicans are sore losers, obviously these are very shallow liberals that have no self awareness and short term memory loss. Palin or Begich, still if either one gets second he or she will have a better chance of winning then Peltola. If a conservative wins, conservatives will still dislike ranked choice undoubtedly and it will be interesting to see the reactions from democrats after they had the lead. This ranked choice really adds unnecessary drama to something that we should try to make as civil as possible.

    Can Must Read Alaska or someone please do an article that explains when and how ranked choice can be repealed?

    • Justin, I’ll get to that, but the basic answer is that after two years of a ballot initiative being on the books, the Legislature can repeal it. Look for that attempt to be made and fought over in 2023. – sd

      • Can voters petition to get rid of it inside of 2 years with a class action lawsuit against the way it was forced on the voters through out of state money and underhanded ploys by Murkowski to support it? Can politicians plot and pay for initiatives to change our election system without breaking an election law?

        • Michael Johnson: I’m not sure, but in a just world (which isn’t the one we are currently in) “Alaskans for Better Elections” and Murkowski should be completely exposed in all news outlets for deceitfully manipulating the public. I don’t think there is any issue with Murkowski supporting and even initiating the idea of ranked choice out in the open, but to secretly spearhead it with a very hypocritical and deceitful ad campaign that says it will get rid of dark money is whole other thing. It’s treasonous really.

          I like MRAK and really applaud Suzanne, but Alaska Public Media, ADN, KTUU are a huge problem in this state (similar to the rest of the world) and that’s why things like this happen and MRAK isn’t the answer. The answer is a truly professional news outlet that aims to be objective and factual and balanced according to the prevalent perspectives in the public. And separates reporting from editorial. Then that outlet would be more credible, trusted, and capable of informing everyone of such things. But I’m asking for the moon.

      • Suzanne: Awesome. I don’t look forward to that fight because democrats and their news outlets don’t play fairly, but I look forward to your article. The next problem is that the legislature will be filled with people elected by ranked choice… Hopefully they will still want to get rid of it. My guess is yes, they will. It barely passed by the public and now I think the public is far less in favor of it, at least the conservatives. Fingers crossed.

  6. ranked Choice is working exactly as designed. So much for it “increasing the chances” for Republicans like Porcaro kept saying it would.

    Congrats Porcaro. You helped deliver blue Alaska.

  7. “It is being widely criticized for being difficult to understand …”

    Well then, it is the duty of responsible journalism to clearly explain RCV to the voters so that they DO understand it. After all, the system was freely adopted by the electorate, most of whom are tired of the hegemony of the two-party system, and its propensity to nominate extreme candidates.

    I must say that MRAK is doing an admirable job explaining how it all works – even though you obviously don’t like the result this time ’round. Thank you.

    • “its propensity to nominate extreme candidates” – Did you miss how Al Gross got “persuaded” to drop out?

    • “… it is the duty of responsible journalism to clearly explain RCV to the voters so that they DO understand it.”
      .
      No it is not the duty of journalist.
      .
      It is the responsibility of the Department of Elections to field a voting system that is understandable by the average person. Not some “if..then…else if” multi level scenario system. If a person of average intelligence is getting it wrong, the problem is the system, not the person.
      .
      Something like voting should be simple. Pick the candidate you want. End of story. But… nope. Alaskans for Better Elections is just so much smarter than everyone else.
      .
      But, to blame journalists for something they have no responsibility for is disingenuous.

  8. RCV working exactly as designed. Have two Republicans square off and split the vote while the lone Democrat takes all their votes and wins. If we just had one Republican they would have won by a fairly large margin. Sad to see Democrats take power through trickery.

      • You’re clearly projecting. Don’t be so excited. Chances of Peltola winning are still not in her favor. She has a chance, but odds are against her. And if she loses, don’t worry, conservatives will still want RCV gone.

      • When it works in my favor, I will still think the entire system is crap. Regardless of outcome, RCV is a garbage system of voting, and should never of seen the light of day.

    • Don’t blame democrats for Republican stupidity. It was clear what it was and would do. But the GOP didn’t bother to mount an effective fight.

      Like most everything else political, the problems in Alaska are self inflicted.

      • The problems are inflicted by out of state money. Democrats have ruined California, they’ll come here next.

    • “Sad to see Democrats take power through trickery” Such hypocrisy. It was the REPUBLICANS who crafted a clever plan to reverse the fair Presidential election. The Trump even considered imposing martial law to take control over the voting machines. It was the REPUBLICANS who conned a bunch of high level state conservatives to become fake electors. It was the Trump who tried to get the Georgia DA to “find” him more votes.

      Trickery, lies and hypocrisy is all you republicans have.

      • Lucinda: So you are agreeing RCV is trickery? I agree that it would have been terrible for Trump to declare martial law and for the Georgia DA to fabricate more votes. And I agree that RCV is trickery by Murkowski and Democrats, clearly. They ran a campaign that said it was bipartisan and that it would get rid of dark money when reality the only Republican support was connected to Murkowski people and the whole campaign for RCV was funded by outside obscured money. Don’t take it from me. Look where the funds for “Alaskans for Better Elections” comes from. It isn’t Alaska.

      • I’m still waiting for you to actually put forward one fact-just one- to back up your talking points.

        My favorite was the martial law BS. That’s TDS porn at its finest.

        But do go on. Trump remains a political force because people like you refuse to let him go.

        • The Trump White House did look into the Department of Defense seizing voting machines. Among a variety of other questionable tactics, like asking the Georgia Secretary of State to declare him the winner (perhaps you recall the quote, recorded by Raffsenberger, or then President Trump asking him to find 10,000 votes and hand him the win).

      • Oh hogwash. No plan was conceived to reverse the election. Abnormalities and illegal dealings were called out and they wanted them addressed. Biden didn’t even campaign, he stayed in his basement (we now know why, total disaster when off the teleprompter). Obama said it best, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fu_k things up.”

      • Seriously, Lucinda? We are all getting tired of that song, turn the record over.
        .
        RCV is an abysmally awful voting system, regardless of who pushed for it, or who benefits from it. Perfect example, I would be happy to see either Palin or Begich win, and it is pretty obvious that Palin will win after the 2nd round.
        But, I still want RCV gone.
        Even if that would mean Petola would have been declared the winner on August 16th.
        .
        Yeah, I would rather see a Democrat win than have RCV. it is that awful of an election system

        • Just too complicated for you? If Palin and Begich hadn’t gone after each other so hard, RCV would be very likely placing one of them on top. Right now the Republican Party is cannibalizing itself—see taking down or trying to take down incumbents like Cheney and Murkowski, but that seems to because the party has become the party of a single man’s personality. (Also, see fascism.)

      • Martial law. More democrat delusion. You have to wonder where the left gets all this crazy propaganda. You wonder even more how they can possibly believe it.

  9. The question is, who are the smarter voters, and who will remember to use their second choice wisely? Will the Palin voters remember, or do they care, to put Begich second? Or are the Begich voters more inclined to play strategically and hold their nose and vote for Palin as their second? Or, are neither voters going to be smart or magnanimous enough to play the game right?

    Whatever the case, there’s 60% voting conservative, and 40% voting liberal. If the conservatives lose this seat, it’ll be due to ignorance and arrogance and no one stepping up and taking one for the team. Whether that’s a candidate dropping out, or just people remembering to play the stupid prop 2 game correctly and use their second vote, either way, it’s one of the easiest races for the right to win if they can get their act together.

    • With all the negative ads Begich put out about Palin, I hope his voters still ranked her 2nd. We’ll see! I ranked Palin #1, Begich #2.

  10. If the magic 50% does not happen for Petola, this is meaningless.
    There is no way that Begich voters cast enough second rank votes for Petola to push her ahead of Palin.
    .
    And the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left can commence immediately.

  11. A) The term “improper voter registration” means any situation where an individual who does not possess the legal right to vote in a jurisdiction is included as an eligible voter on that jurisdiction’s voter list, regardless of the state of mind or intent of such individual.
    B) The term “improper voting” means the act of an individual casting a non-provisional ballot in a jurisdiction in which that individual is ineligible to vote, or the act of an individual casting a ballot in multiple jurisdictions, regardless of the state of mind or intent of that individual.
    C) The term “fraudulent voter registration” means any situation where an individual knowingly and intentionally takes steps to add ineligible individuals to voter lists.
    D) The term “fraudulent voting” means the act of casting a non-provisional ballot or multiple ballots with knowledge that casting the ballot or ballots is illegal.

  12. Remember, the 2020 election was stolen using various methods:

    “Ballot Trafficking” as presented by 2000 Mules

    Vote switching through compromised machines

    Major vote dumping and duplicating of ballots – when they realized the machines and ballot trafficking wouldn’t be enough, they literally stopped counting on election night to mass-dump ballots and have workers such as Ruby Freeman scan the same ballots multiple times

    Cover-up by the Media and our local and federal government, most notably, the RINOs at the local level

    • Without seeing any evidence, I already knew the morning after the election there was at best a terrible execution of the election. How can we expect either side accepting a loss when all swing states swing the other way overnight when they announced they weren’t going to count anymore until the morning. How can expect to aim for a civil democracy and transfer of power and think no one should be held accountable for executing an election like that? Done. No more evidence of anything needed. 2020 was obviously poorly done at best and the media covering it up and pandering to the winner and ignoring reports and video evidence of shenanigans means we have big problems and more turmoil to come.

      I’m not a huge Trump fan but for some reason some force that doesn’t care about having an honest and civil democracy/republic really doesn’t want Trump in office. Makes me want him in office.

  13. ALL your rights are lost under Peltola. She has studied the US Constitution. She doesn’t like it because it isn’t ladylike. Like most ladies She hasn’t got what it takes to defend the US Constitution from its international enemies or defend your reduced now imaginary US Constitutional rights in AK. She would consider it an honor I believe to answer to the WEF et al. Just her nibs.

  14. The reason ranked passed is because enough on the right realized the dems would never win if people just ranked.

    • I am solidly on the right side of the political aisle, and I saw RCV as an obvious attempt by the leftists to keep Republicans from winning elections. And, I said Republicans, RINOs like Murkowski are not Republicans.
      .
      The open primary is proof of that. It is obvious to anyone that the democrats came out in force to get Murkowski reelected. Does it not strike you odd that the Registered Dem got about 10% of the votes Murkowski did?

      • It could also be that the majority of the state (and country) value centrists, but primaries engage the most active (and often extreme) members of each party. In a lot of gerrymandered districts, this system works fine, and those candidates go on to represent their district. RCV and the open primary mixes that up a little—it’s kind of like having more democracy, but extremist aren’t too keen on that, they’d like to continue to run their respective party at the edges.

  15. We should have a system where the winning candidate must have more votes than the number of eligable voters (registered or not) who did not cast a ballot for anyone……

    Just think of the massive bump that would give the political campaign industry!!

  16. Don’t blame Mary for the fact Republicans can’t get out of their own way.

    The cult of Sarah refuse to consider supporting Begich as second choice. The anti Palin contingent refuse to put her as second choice. Frankly, either had done a good job building a case for themselves.

    The Queen, when she bothers to campaign, acts as if Alaska owes her the seat. Begich is too busy crapping on The Queen to build a case for himself.

    Sad, simple fact is Mary is better at the game than Begich and The Queen combined.

    • Curious where you are getting the info about second choice votes.
      From what I can tell, the overwhelming majority of the Begich voters selected Palin as their second, and vice versa. If you are using the comments on MRAK as some kind of yardstick, you are not getting anywhere near the information you think you are.

  17. No one seems to get why Ranked Choice exists. There are a small percentage of voters who chose Write-In. Those voters might have a second choice, which means those votes will get allocated to whoever they prefer before the Nick Begich voters. Begich voters had three options: (1) Vote for Palin; (2) Vote for Peltola or (3) Bullet Vote and just let your vote fall off. For number 3, that means those voters don’t like either option and they really don’t care who wins between both options. A majority of Begich voters will likely vote for Palin, but there are Begich voters who will vote for Peltola. This entire structure gives a majority of voters the ultimate say in who they want to see win. It should come as no surprise that the two states that have this system also have two of the last remaining Moderate Republicans in the US Senate. The reality is that Alaska voters and Mainers are Moderate and they are overwhelmingly non-religious and Pro-Choice. This system seems to be producing the results it was intended to produce: a consensus choice that is supported by a majority of voters, whether that is Mary Peltola or Lisa Murkowski.

  18. What does “US Constitution” mean? TO YOU? Zero? Because that what is taught to moderates. They already have nothing and are happy. Tell me when it was consulted for guidance last year?

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