Senator Lisa Murkowski takes a narrow lead over Kelly Tshibaka
Senator Lisa Murkowski took a narrow lead over her Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka after Alaska election officials counted more ballots on Friday.
The latest figures show Murkowski with a 1,658 vote lead over Tshibaka. With 112,519 votes, Murkowski holds 43.3% of the total votes, while Tshibaka stands at 42.7% with his 110,861 votes.
Republican candidate Buzz Kelley has less than three percent of the total vote, while the only Democratic candidate, Pat Chesbro, has 10.4 percent of the vote. With neither Tshibaka nor Murkowski expected to meet the 50% threshold, Kelley and Chesbro’s 34,358 votes will be redistributed to voters’ second-choice candidates under Alaska’s new ranked voting system.
As Breitbart News explained:
All candidates from all parties appear together on the ballot in the August primary. The top four voters, regardless of party, then qualify for the general election, and their voters have the opportunity to choose their first choice, as well as their second and third choices. If no candidate in the first round of the voters’ first choices obtains 50% of the votes, the second choices of the last candidate are distributed among the three remaining candidates to see if anyone can cross the majority threshold. If this again fails to produce a majority of votes, then a third round is held where the third place candidate’s votes are redistributed according to the second choices between the two remaining candidates.
Voters in Alaska instituted the new vote-by-vote system in 2020. However, a recent video revealed a Murkowski aide who claimed that the ballot measure to institute preferential-choice voting was promoted by people who “wanted Lisa to be re-elected”.
The Alaska Division of Elections will tabulate voters’ second and third choices on Nov. 23, with officials working to certify the election results on Nov. 29.
Murkowski stands to benefit greatly from Chesbro’s 26,974 votes because she aligned with the Alaska Democrats, is pro-choice and voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, who backed Tshibaka over Murkowski.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.