With the vote totals now final in Alaska, it becomes clear that Sen. Lisa Murkowski was able to win due to 20,543 of Democrat Pat Chesbro’s ballots awarded to her in the ranked-choice voting election. That means people who votes for the Democrat first, picked Murkowski over Kelly Tshibaka 10 to 1. Only 2,209 of Chesbro voters picked Tshibaka second on their ballots.
Murkowski had but 43.37% of first-round votes, but with Chesbro votes was able to get to 53.69% in the final tabulation. She has never won with more than 48.6% of votes in the past.
Murkowski won with 48.6% of the vote in 2004, 39.5% in 2010, and 44.4% in 2016. This election, with the open primary and ranked-choice system designed by her allies to aid her, she reached her highest number yet.
Even with that, Congresswoman Mary Peltola got more votes in her final tally in the congressional race than Murkowski got in her Senate race, with Peltola receiving 136,893 votes, and Murkowski’s final number hovering at 135,972 votes.
Murkowski wrote, “Thank you, Alaska. I am honored that Alaskans – of all regions, backgrounds and party affiliations – have once again granted me their confidence to continue working with them and on their behalf in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to continuing the important work ahead of us.”
Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka, who got 117,299 (46.31%) in the final tally, conceded to Murkowski and wished her well with the following statement:
“I’m proud of the race we ran and proud to have united Alaskans in our fight against the disastrous Biden administration, which has targeted our economy every single day they have been in office. I entered the race to be a voice for the voiceless, and to stand up for the Alaskans who stood up for me and my family when we needed opportunities. I love this state with all my heart because of its endless potential and because of the resilient, compassionate, and fiercely loyal people who call it home. I will continue to fight for Alaska and for we, the people, but will take some time to reflect upon what that may look like.
“It’s clear from the ranked choice tabulations that Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been re-elected, and I congratulate her on that. The new election system has been frustrating to many Alaskans, because it was indisputably designed as an incumbent-protection program, and it clearly worked as intended. Additionally, it is regrettable that Sen. Mitch McConnell spent millions of dollars in this race on deceptive ads to secure what he wanted – a Senate minority that he can control, as opposed to a majority that he could not. Donors’ money would have been better spent in other states to elect more Republicans that would have secured a majority in the Senate. In the end, however, our Alaska U.S. Senate election turned out to be another victory for the Washington, D.C. insiders who rarely have our best interests at heart.
“No matter how dark things may seem to some right now, the light of hope can never be extinguished in the Land of the Midnight Sun. I saw that light shining bright and strong in the eyes of the thousands of Alaskans I met along the way, and the thousands more who supported our campaign by volunteering, by donating, and by voting. I felt the warmth of that light in the open arms with which they welcomed me into their communities, villages, and homes. I am deeply grateful for their kindness, generosity, and support.
“I also thank my wonderful husband, Niki, and five incredible children for enduring the long hours and never-ending travel. I am grateful to President Trump for his support and encouragement. Above all, I thank God, who makes everything possible, for guiding me on this journey.
“Stay tuned. The best is yet to come!” Tshibaka said.