Does Sarah Palin’s loss spell trouble for Republicans: Top Republicans fear midterms are turning into a Trump referendum while GOP members slam Alaska’s ranked choice voting
- Republicans are fretting after the Trump-backed Sarah Palin lost to a Democrat in an Alaska special election to fill the late GOP Rep. Don Young’s seat
- Axios’ Mike Allen reported that top Republicans’ biggest private fear is that the midterm elections will become a referendum on former President Donald Trump
- Thanks to last month’s FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, Trump has been dominating the news, and picking public fights with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
- On Thursday morning, Trump called McConnell’s comments suggesting MAGA candidates might not win ‘a disgrace’ and said he was a ‘negative for the party’
- Republicans had hoped to make the November midterms about the economy, mainly inflation, not about Trump
- Democrats have seen some wins already centered around the abortion issue and the Palin loss plays into the narrative that they have momentum
- GOP Sen. Tom Cotton called the ranked voting system ‘a scam to rig elections,’ which ‘disenfranchises’ voters
- But anti-Trump GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger pointed out that Cotton didn’t like it because it doesn’t reward the ‘extremes of the party’
- ‘So you’d be outta luck,’ Kinzinger tweeted to Cotton Wednesday night. ‘No wonder you don’t like it’
Republicans are fretting after the Trump-backed Sarah Palin lost to a Democrat in an Alaska special election to fill the late GOP Rep. Don Young’s seat.
While Palin came with 14 years of political baggage – and was hindered by Alaska’s ranked choice voting system – Axios’ Mike Allen reported that top Republicans’ biggest private fear is that the midterm elections will become a referendum on former President Donald Trump.
Thanks to last month’s FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, Trump has been dominating the news, and picking public fights with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been critical of some of Trump’s MAGA Senate candidates suggesting they won’t be winners.
Sarah Palin’s special election loss in Alaska could be a sign of GOP troubles in the fall – but the state’s ranked choice voting system also played a role – in that it doesn’t cater to the most extreme voices of the political parties
Axios’ Mike Allen reported Thursday that Republicans’ biggest fear going into the midterm is that they’ll be a referendum on former President Donald Trump (left) and not the economy. Democrats picked up a House seat Wednesday with Alaskan Mary Peltola’s (right) win
‘For him to make that statement is a disgrace to some very good people,’ Trump said Thursday morning on the John Fredericks Radio Show, labeling the GOP Senate leader ‘a negative for the party’ and ‘bad news.’
Republicans had hoped to make the November midterms about the economy: how under Democratic rule inflation has soared, with high gas and food prices.
But Democrats have seen some wins partially due to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, enabled by the three justices Trump appointed to the court during his single term.
Last week in New York, Democrat Pat Ryan defeated Republican Marc Molinaro in a swing district, with Ryan campaigning heavily on abortion protections.
That win comes on the heels of Kansans overwhelmingly voting to protect abortion rights in their state.
The Palin loss plays into the narrative that the Democrats have some momentum, leading to Republicans grumbling online.
Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted, ‘Ranked-choice voting is a scam to rig elections.’
‘60% of Alaska voters voted for a Republican, but thanks to a convoluted process and ballot exhaustion -which disenfranchises voters – a Democrat “won,”‘ the Arkansas Republican said.
Sen. Tom Cotton reacted to Sarah Palin’s loss by tweeted that ‘Ranked-choice voting is a scam to rig elections’
He was later smacked by anti-Trump GOP Rep. Adam Kinziner, who said Cotton didn’t like it because it didn’t reward the ‘extremes of the party’
In 2020, Alaskans changed their voting process – with the help of some pro-Trump voters.
Instead of winnowing down candidates through the party primary process, the top four vote-getters on primary day move on to the general election.
That’s how two Republicans, Palin and Nick Begich, and one Democrat, Mary Peltola, ended up on the special election ballot.
In the three way race, Peltola topped the two Republicans – with 39.7 percent of the vote over Palin’s 30.9 percent and Begich’s 27.8 percent.
But the ranked-choice system allows voters to determine their second-choice preference as well.
In this case, Begich’s votes were wiped out and distributed between Peltola and Palin.
The final result still put Peltola on top, albeit with a much slimmer margin: 51.5 percent to Palin’s 48.5 percent.
Despite sharing a party, Begich’s voters didn’t en masse list Palin as their second preference.
Highlighting Cotton’s complaint about ranked choice elections, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a vocal voice from the anti-Trump wing of the party, pointed out ‘ranked choice voting gives all Americans a voice and not the extremes of the party.’
‘So you’d be outta luck,’ Kinzinger tweeted. ‘No wonder you don’t like it.’