(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Relying on friendly Democrats, blundering establishment Republicans and a ranked-voting scheme designed to benefit RINOs, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, notched a win Wednesday to retain her swamp-dwelling privileges.
Using the same rank-voting system, Alaska Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola outdid the state’s former governor, Republican Sarah Palin, to win a full House term after earlier this year wining a special election to finish Republican Rep. Don Young’s term.
None of the candidates received more than 50% of the vote on Election Day, so the races went to a runoff where candidates were culled by successive ballot counts until somebody prevailed.
Somebody finally did, nearly three weeks after voters went to the polls.
Murkowski’s win over rising MAGA star Kelly Tshibaka had Never Trumpers crowing that the former president’s influence over the party was waning, and hooting that a RINO who voted to impeach Orange Man Bad beat a pro-liberty candidate.
The rank-voting scheme dims those arguments, and it came as no shock that Murkowski was one of its biggest fans and backers.
While the RINO incumbent has steadfastly insisted the ballot measure voters approved to use the ranked system “was an initiative led by the people in the state of Alaska,” the campaign for so-called Ballot Measure 2 was driven by a partisan PR firm headed by two former Murkowski staffers, as well as her current campaign’s comms director.
“It’s clear from the ranked choice tabulations that Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been re-elected, and I congratulate her on that,” Tshibaka wrote after the race was called.
“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.”
Tshibaka’s campaign also fell victim to the machinations of embattled Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has come under fire for spending millions of dollars in GOP funding to boost fellow swamp-dweller Murkowski. The cash was blown in Alaska, critics contend, instead of being used to help secure pivotal races that the GOP lost in Arizona and Nevada, where MAGA candidates were surging.
Tshibaka called McConnell’s meddling “regrettable” and said that he backed Murkowski “to secure what he wanted – a Senate minority that he can control, as opposed to a majority that he could not.”
“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,” she wrote.