With one month to go before Alaskans decide who will be their new U.S. representative at large for the next two years, signs are gloomy for perhaps the best-known Alaskan of all: Sarah Palin.
Last month, in a nationally watched special election for the seat, Democrat Mary Peltola edged out Republican Palin with just over 51 percent of the vote. The former governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee cried "Foul!," charging that the new ranked choice voting system in the Land of the Midnight Sun was responsible for her defeat.
Now, Peltola, Palin and Republican and third-place finisher Nick Begich will meet again in the general election. Again, the contest will be decided by ranked-choice voting and, as of last week, Palin was running third.
According to a just-completed Alaska Survey Research poll, Peltola was running first among likely voters with 48.7 percent to 25.6 percent for entrepreneur Begich and 23.3 percent for Palin. Running fourth with 2.4 percent was political unknown Chris Dye.
Under the ranked-choice mechanism, the fourth-place finisher is eliminated and his or her second choices are distributed to the remaining candidates. In eliminating Dye, Alaska Survey found, Peltola leads Begich by 49.7 to 26.3 percent. In placing third with 23.9 percent, Palin is thus eliminated and her second-choice votes are split between the two remaining contenders (and, Alaska Survey shows Peltola wins over Begich by a comfortable 54.3 to 45.7 percent.
"Call it a honeymoon phase, whatever," pollster Ivan Moore said of Peltola, the first Native Alaskan to serve in Congress. "She is the most popular figure in Alaska right now, with positive-negatives of 53 [percent] to 27 percent [and] a 34 percent very positive. No one even approaches those numbers."
Moore added that "[I]f anything, it’s Palin who's flagging with her negative down to 66 percent."
Last week, the former governor experienced some embarrassment. Weeks after the announcement of a high-dollar fundraising dinner scheduled at the posh Petroleum Club of Anchorage and featuring Palin and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., the event was abruptly canceled without explanation.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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