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Does the loss of Sarah Palin smell like trouble for Republicans?

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Smells Sarah Palin’s Loss to Republicans: Top Republicans Fear Midterm Election Turning Into a Trump Referendum As GOP Members Destroy Alaska’s Ranked Choice Vote

  • Republicans are concerned after Trump-backed Sarah Palin lost to a Democrat in an Alaska special election for the seat of the late GOP Rep. Don Young to fill
  • Mike Allen of Axios reported that top Republicans’ biggest personal fear is that the midterm elections will turn into a referendum on former President Donald Trump
  • Thanks to last month’s FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, Trump is dominating the news, choosing public fights with Senate leader Mitch McConnell
  • On Thursday morning, Trump cited McConnell’s comments suggesting MAGA candidates might not win “a disgrace” and said he was a “negative to the party.”
  • Republicans had hoped the November midterms would be about the economy, primarily inflation, not Trump
  • Democrats have already seen some wins on the abortion issue, and Palin’s loss is capitalizing on the narrative that they have momentum
  • GOP Sen. Tom Cotton called the ranked voting system ‘a scam to manipulate elections’, which ‘deprives voters of justice’
  • 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’re out of luck,” Kinzinger tweeted to Cotton on Wednesday evening. ‘No wonder you don’t like it’

Republicans are concerned after Trump-backed Sarah Palin lost to a Democrat in an Alaska special election for the seat of the late GOP Rep. Don Young to fill.

While Palin came with 14 years of political baggage – and was hampered by Alaska’s ranked electoral voting system – Mike Allen of Axios reported that the top personal fear of top Republicans is that the midterm elections will turn into a referendum on former President Donald Trump.

Thanks to last month’s FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, Trump is dominating the news, choosing public fights with Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who has criticized some of Trump’s MAGA Senate candidates for suggesting they won’t be winners.

Sarah Palin’s special election loss in Alaska could be a sign of GOP trouble in the fall — but the state’s ranked electoral voting system also played a part — in that it doesn’t cater to the most extreme votes of the political parties

Former President Donald Trump

Maria Peltola

Mike Allen of Axios reported Thursday that Republicans’ biggest fears for the medium term is that they will hold a referendum on former President Donald Trump (left) and not on the economy. Democrats grabbed a seat in the House on Wednesday with the victory of Alaskan Mary Peltola (right)

“It’s a shame he’s making that statement in front of some very good people,” Trump said on the John Fredericks Radio Show Thursday morning, calling the GOP Senate leader “a negative for the party” and “bad news.”

Republicans had hoped to hold the November midterms on the economy: how inflation has risen under Democratic rule, with high gas and food prices.

But the Democrats have had some victories, thanks in part to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, powered by the three judges Trump appointed during his only term on the court.

Last week in New York, Democrat Pat Ryan defeated Republican Marc Molinaro in a swing district, while Ryan campaigned heavily for abortion protection.

That victory comes on the heels of Kansans who overwhelmingly vote to protect abortion rights in their state.

Palin’s loss plays into the narrative that Democrats have some momentum, leading Republicans to grumble online.

sen. Tom Cotton tweeted: ‘Ranking voting is a scam to manipulate elections.’

60% of voters in Alaska voted for a Republican, but thanks to a complicated process and ballot exhaustion — which deprives voters of their right to vote — a Democrat has ‘won,’ said the Arkansas Republican.

sen.  Tom Cotton responded to Sarah Palin's loss by tweeting that

sen. Tom Cotton responded to Sarah Palin’s loss by tweeting that “ranking voting is a scam to manipulate elections.” He was later beaten 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 have changed their voting process — with the help of some pro-Trump voters.

Instead of sifting candidates through the party’s primary process, the top four votes on the primary day advance to the general election.

For example, two Republicans, Palin and Nick Begich, and a 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 also allows voters to determine their second choice preference.

In this case, Begich’s votes were wiped out and split between Peltola and Palin.

The final result still put Peltola on top, albeit by a much smaller margin: 51.5 percent against Palin’s 48.5 percent.

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, a vocal voice of the party’s anti-Trump wing, highlighting Cotton’s complaint about ranked electoral elections, be aware “Ranked choice votes give all Americans a voice and not the extremes of the party.”

“So you’re out of luck,” Kinzinger tweeted. “No wonder you don’t like it.”

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