(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Rising MAGA star Kelly Tshibaka on Thursday continued to hold a thin lead in a runoff battle for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat over incumbent RINO Lisa Murkowski, a never-Trumper who voted to impeach the former president.
Under the state’s ranked-voting system, if no candidate reaches 50% after a first round of voting, ballots are recounted with lower-ranked choices eliminated until a candidate breaks 50%. The seat will remain in GOP control, as Tshibaka and Murkowski are the only two still with significant numbers in the runoff calculations. With 71% reporting Thursday, the race was still too close to call, but Tshibaka led 44.3% to 42.8%. If neither candidate grabs 50% another round of counting will be held Nov. 23, according to the Associated Press.
BREAKING: Alaska Senate race is advancing to a ranked choice runoff. A candidate needs over 50% to win.
The race is already expected to elect a Republican. It's just a matter of which one.
Here's the first round:
Kelly Tshibaka- 94,120 (44.26%)
Lisa Murkowski- 90,990 (42.79%)
— Aidan Mackey (@AidanMackeyON) November 10, 2022
Tshibaka likely would have won the race outright on Election Day, critics contend, if it hadn’t been for the meddling of leftists to game that state’s ranked-voting scheme, along with a strategic blunder from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that was tainted by personal animus.
The Alaskan Republican Party in October censured McConnell, a Trump critic whose post-midterm leadership position is likely to be challenged, after the Senate Leadership Fund PAC that McConnell controls spent $5 million on ads attacking Tshibaka and promoting Murkowski.
“The millions of dollars Mitch McConnell is spending on lies about me could be put to better use in other states where a Republican has a chance to beat a Democrat,” Tshibaka said at the time.
That was a sentiment that is being loudly echoed now, as Tshibaka remained locked in the runoff with another Republican while several GOP candidates in battleground states like Arizona and Nevada are fighting to beat Democrats.
Mitch McConnell dumping $9 million into Alaska so pro-abortion RINO Lisa Murkowski could beat an America First Republican instead of spending it in Arizona for Blake Masters, whose race is going down to the wire, should be the nail in the coffin for his time as Leader.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 10, 2022
While Republicans are guaranteed to hold Senate seat, it will make a major difference who is occupying the seat. There are stark divisions between the Trump-endorsed Tshibaka and the swamp establishment Murkowski, beginning with one that could explain McConnell’s dubious campaign cash distribution.
Tshibaka has publicly proclaimed she would not support him for party leadership, while Murkowski is firmly encamped with McConnell.
In addition to benefiting from McConnell’s misguided Alaskan largesse, Murkowski is also reaping rewards from the ranked-voting scheme that is favored by Democrats and designed to help left-leaning RINOs fend off challenges from pro-liberty candidates.
Murkowski is a big supporter of ranked-voting specifically because it favors RINO candidates like herself, despite her claims to the contrary. A campaign operative was caught on camera earlier this year admitting that Murkowski supported the ranked system because it helped so-called progressive candidates.
While Republicans remain in a pitched battled to regain majority of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House also remains undecided.
Republicans shouldn’t expect much help on that front from Murkowski, who last month said she would use ranked-voting to throw her support to Democrat Mary Peltola over several Republicans, including Sarah Palin, running for Alaska’s U.S. House seat.
Peltola’s campaign priorities that support abortion, gun control, fighting climate change and championing a radical LGBT agenda mirror those embraced by the alleged Republican Murkowski, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by voters.
Alaskans this is just a sampling of Murkowski’s recent voting record. She’s anti Trump and anti MAGA. She’s also beholden to McConnell and the swamp unity party. We need a big turnout for Kelly Tshibaka bcuz of crazy AK vote voting system that Murkowski snuck in to favor herself. pic.twitter.com/dtyuHO9Eld
— 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@barrykewg) November 2, 2022