Sarah Palin Loses House for Alaska

Democrat candidate, Mary Peltola, beat Sarah Palin in the race for Alaska’s seat in the House. The win for Petola made her the first Native Alaskan to earn a seat in the U.S. Congress. The victory for Petola is also interesting because she won the seat for the Democratic party in a state that has been considered Republican-dominated for the last several decades. 

The seat became available earlier this year and thus up for grabs after the former GOP Representative, Don Young, who held the seat for the last 49 years, passed away in March of this year. Prior to him in the seat was Nick Begich, the grandfather of one of the candidates in this year’s election also named Nick Begich. 

The election is one that was somewhat drawn out after Alaska’s decision to take up the ranked voting system, a system that has been used by the state of Maine for several years now. The ranked voting system is a system that enables voters to rank the candidates in the order in which they would prefer to be elected. That way, if there is no clear majority winner after the initial election, a second round is held wherein the second choices of the voters whose top pick lost are then considered. 

During this race, Peltola led in the first round of voting with 20% more votes than the former governor and GOP vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, who took second place. The candidate in third place during the first round of voting was Nick Begich. Despite her having a 20% lead, the second round of voting had to be held, as a clear majority of 51 percentage points was needed in order to be declared the winner. A second round was held, wherein Begich was eliminated, and Peltola and Palin faced off. Begich’s voters’ second choices were then tallied, showing Peltola as the clear winner. 

Palin had blamed this ranked voting system for her defeat earlier this year during a special election. However, after facing off against Petola in a final round, it is clear that the ranked voting system cannot be blamed for the Trump-backed candidate’s loss.


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