Patterico's Pontifications

9/1/2022

Sarah Palin Election Loss Obviously Means *Something* Was Rigged!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:43 am



[guest post by Dana]

Last night, Democrat and Native Alaskan Mary Peltola defeated Trump-endorsed Sarah Palin in a special general election to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Don Young, a long-serving Republican in the House, who passed away in March 2022.

This was the first election in Alaska to use rank-choice voting, a measure adopted by votes in 2020:

Voters pick their member of Congress by ranking the candidates, and a write-in candidate if they choose to do so, in order of preference. If a candidate wins a majority of votes on the first round, he or she wins the race. But if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and his or her supporters’ second-choice votes will go to the remaining candidates. The rounds continue until two candidates are left, and the candidate with the most votes wins.

As of Thursday morning, with 93% of votes counted in the ranked choice results, Peltola defeated Palin 51.5% to 48.5%.

[…]

According to the Alaska Division of Elections, the system benefits voters. “By ranking multiple candidates, you can still have a voice in who gets elected even if your top choice does not win,” its website says. “Ranking multiple candidates ensures your vote will go toward your second, third, fourth, or fifth choice if your top choice is eliminated, giving you more voice in who wins.”

After Palin’s defeat, she criticized the new voting system

…saying in a statement that it was a “mistake” that was originally “sold as the way to make elections better reflect the will of the people.” But now, she said, Alaska and the rest of America see “the exact opposite is true.”

“The people of Alaska do not want the destructive democrat agenda to rule our land and our lives, but that’s what resulted from someone’s experiment with this new crazy, convoluted, confusing ranked-choice voting system,” she said. “It’s effectively disenfranchised 60% of Alaska voters.”

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas also cast doubt on the election outcome because something just had to have been rigged:

Of course, it can no longer be a clean election loss when a Trump-endorsed candidate fails to win. And there’s no way that Alaskan voters simply found the challenger more appealing and a better representative of their political views.

Other Republicans took Cotton to task for his claims:

Ironically, the very system that Palin and Cotton criticize could possibly allow her a win in November: Peltola, Palin and Begich are all competing to win a full term in the House in the November 8 general election. They advanced from an August 16 nonpartisan primary along with Libertarian candidate Chris Bye.

Though Palin has not yet made what many believed would be a political comeback, it is still possible she could win the seat in November under the ranked-choice voting system.

–Dana

27 Responses to “Sarah Palin Election Loss Obviously Means *Something* Was Rigged!”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. it is still possible she could win the seat in November under the ranked-choice voting system.

    If that happens I’m sure Tom Cotton et. al. will feel the same outrage.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. The problem for Sarah Palin was that many voters for Nick Begich III (also a Republican, who came in third) ranked Mary Peltola as their second choice, not Palin:

    Almost as many Begich voters picked Peltola as their second choice (15,445) or didn’t rank one of the two finalists (11,222) as ranked Palin behind Begich (27,042). In other words, only about half of Begich voters were willing to also rank Palin ahead of a Democrat.
    ……….
    A pre-special election poll showed 70 percent of voters who preferred Begich as their first choice had an unfavorable opinion of Palin. She wound up getting about half their votes anyway. But that’s still half of voters for a Republican candidate being unwilling to rank another Republican as their backup.

    Detailed breakdown of unofficial results.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. NeverTrumpers are liberals in their hearts…

    I’m a big believer in giving back to people what they give to others. Think of it as a twist on the Golden Rule: if someone is a bad person to others, even if it isn’t you, treat them accordingly….

    This old pervert (read what his own daughter wrote about him in a diary she never thought the world would see) has always been dumb, but now he’s also senile. That makes it difficult to assign blame for his evil to one or the other, though it’s usually a combination of both…

    Joe told the partisan crowd of union goons, “The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy. They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace — embrace — political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.” I’m now team Corn Pop.

    Is Joe unaware of the riots in 2020? The BLM/ANTIFA wing of his party, his enforcers, beating and murdering people who dared to stand up to them?

    https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2022/08/28/untitled-n2612326?utm_campaign=rightrailsticky2

    Colonel Haiku (bd0f7e)

  5. It’s not a scam, but it’s not an accident that the AFL-CIO wanted RCV on the ballot, and paid for it to be passed. They are getting what they paid for.

    mikeybates (dd20f5)

  6. What it meant was that people who wanted to vote against Sarah Palin (or any other candidate) got two bites at the apple.

    The person who should be more upset is Nick Begich, as it shows that GOP voters preferred Palin on the first ballot, or those that voted for him preferred a Democrat on the second. Head to head, he loses to Palin AND the Democrat. And his voters tend to prefer Democrats to another Republican.

    Ranked choice gives you all kinds of messages.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  7. Allahpundit’s take:

    ……..
    I find myself underwhelmed by Cotton’s claim that ranked-choice voting is “convoluted.” Ask a five-year-old to rank her three favorite flavors of ice cream in order and she’ll have no difficulty with the concept. Palin didn’t lose because Alaskans are too stupid to denote their own preferences, she lost because even many Republicans up there dislike her for quitting as governor in 2009 and then remaking herself as a national celebrity, political and otherwise. To quote my pal Karl, “Alaska elected Lisa Murkowski as a write-in candidate over a Tea Party candidate. They know how to express a preference.”

    ……..No election should be decided by how voters rank their ninth and tenth choices. But a three-way race? Americans are used to those. And as others have pointed out, at no point in this race did Palin lead. She trailed Democrat Mary Peltola by eight points after the first round and ended up losing by a bit more than three. There’s every reason to believe that if Alaska had followed a traditional system this year — party primaries, then a general election between the nominees — Palin might have lost that too. The Begich voters who made Peltola their second choice last night might have crossed over to vote for her in the general. And the Begich voters who declined to name a second choice, presumably because they couldn’t stomach voting for Palin, might have stayed home.

    Peltola and Begich each have more reason to complain about the current system than Palin does. …….

    What decided the outcome in this election wasn’t ranked-choice voting or even the jungle primary format, it was the decision of Democrat Al Gross to drop out of the race. Gross finished among the top four with Peltola, Palin, and Begich and would have appeared on yesterday’s ballot — but he withdrew in June and threw his support to Peltola, consolidating Democrats behind her. …….
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. #4 WWJD, Haiku?

    Appalled (103880)

  9. Ranked choice can get you moderate winners in a district where moderate voters are split between the two parties. In a single-party district it’s of little use as the center in that district is nowhere near “moderate.”

    Take, for example, CA-43, held by Maxine Waters. It encompasses Watts, Compton, Inglewood, Willowbrook and other sections of South LA. It also has attached the upper-middle class areas of Westchester and Play Del Rey (a long-standing gerrymander).

    Ranked choice voting here will get you …. Maxine Waters. She is never challenged in the primary (no one would dare) and her GOP opponent is usually some local gadfly who is functionally immune to political retaliation.

    There are better systems.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  10. even many Republicans up there dislike her for quitting as governor in 2009

    This is how people ignorant of Alaskan politics talk. People know she had good reason to resign — state law made her a defenseless lawfare target.

    That’s not why they don’t like her. To them, a Congressperson is about bringing home the bacon and they have no interest in a spotlight hog.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  11. What decided the outcome in this election wasn’t ranked-choice voting or even the jungle primary format, it was the decision of Democrat Al Gross to drop out of the race. Gross finished among the top four with Peltola, Palin, and Begich and would have appeared on yesterday’s ballot — but he withdrew in June and threw his support to Peltola, consolidating Democrats behind her. …….

    This is incoherent. He says it wasn’t the format, then goes on to say the 2R, 1D format was the deciding point.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  12. Kinzinger isn’t a Republican, but he can look forward to lots of guest spots on MSDNC playing one on tv.

    NJRob (4f3cc4)

  13. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 9/1/2022 @ 10:53 am

    It makes perfect sense in the context of a three way race. If the Democratic voters had one candidate to vote for and Republicans two, the Republicans split their votes while the Democrats don’t.

    From the same paragraph:

    If Gross had insisted on staying in, he and Peltola likely would have split the 40 percent of first-choice votes that were cast for her. And that would have left them in third and fourth place behind Palin and Begich. That means the election would have come down to the two Republicans, not to Peltola and Palin. And as I said, Begich probably would have won that match-up because more Democratic and independent voters would have preferred him to her.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Kinzinger isn’t a Republican…

    Kinzinger voted with Republican Trump’s agenda 90.2% of the time.
    Kinzinger is a Republican, just not a card-carrying member of Trump Tribe.

    Paul Montagu (062b7e)

  15. I love the argument that Americans are too stupid to understand how ranking things works.

    Really, this is the argument of a *populist* movement? That the people are too dumb to understand a simple concept?

    aphrael (63a822)

  16. “Kinzinger is a Republican, just not a card-carrying member of Trump Tribe.”

    He’s toast and good riddance.

    Colonel Haiku (8049f2)

  17. I live in Alaska and was an anyone-but-Palin voter. She didn’t even get a #3 vote from me (Begich was my #1). Gross would have been a much harder situation for me, I have personal experience with the man as a surgeon and after there were complications he admitted that he probably shouldn’t have handled me as a patient. With Palin, for me, it comes down to “you quit”. I simply find that unforgivable regardless of her reason.

    What I actually find baffling about the current election system is that the primary is “choose one”. I would have much rather had a ranked choice there as well.

    Soronel Haetir (6ef4cf)

  18. > And as I said, Begich probably would have won that match-up because more Democratic and independent voters would have preferred him to her.

    This is exactly how the system is supposed to work — let people who vote for candidates that don’t make it into the top two effectively transfer their vote to a candidate who did, which should in general produce a candidate with more widespread support.

    We don’t use RCV for statewide elections in CA, we use another uncommon system — except in some local elections where RCV has generally worked as intended.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  19. I think that Palin and Cotton’s comments are incredibly insulting to Alaskan voters who chose to adopt this voting system. Plain and simply: Why would anyone choose to vote for Palin on Nov. 8 if she thinks so lowly of so many people she hopes to represent?

    Dana (1225fc)

  20. It makes perfect sense in the context of a three way race. If the Democratic voters had one candidate to vote for and Republicans two, the Republicans split their votes while the Democrats don’t.

    That makes sense. But it does NOT make sense to use that claim to buttress and argument that “the format [which featured 2R v 1D] didn’t matter.”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  21. I live in Alaska and was an anyone-but-Palin voter.

    As I said, the format gave you two bites at the apple.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  22. Palin’s problem, in the end, was that she’s a loud spokeswoman for a cause, and that it just about the worst person for the job of getting Alaska it’s piece of the pie. Such a person puts “taking care of business” second, at best, and alienates other legislators she needs to get her constituents the federal dollars they seek.

    Don Young knew how to work the system for Alaska. Palin isn’t interested.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  23. It was not Sarah Palin and it was not ranked choice voting. It was what a Trump endorsement is worth when the rubber hits the road. When it’s not one Republican against another. When it’s a Republican against a Democrat. For a seat which has been held by a Republican since 1974. Trump’s endorsement lost Sarah Palin votes.

    nk (d9047a)

  24. Much more of Begich voter’s second choices went to Palin than the Democrat, but not enough for her to win.

    Sammy Finkelman (418659)

  25. aphrael (4c4719) — 9/1/2022 @ 1:21 pm

    — let people who vote for candidates that don’t make it into the top two effectively transfer their vote to a candidate who did, which should in general produce a candidate with more widespread support.

    Also called instant runoff voting, it can misfire, because the later ranked choices of the second finisher of the final two are never looked at, like it did in one election in Vermont.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Burlington_mayoral_election

    Unlike in the city’s first IRV mayoral election three years prior, however, Kiss was neither the plurality winner (since Republican candidate Kurt Wright won a plurality of first-place votes) nor the Condorcet winner (Democratic candidate Andy Montroll was the pairwise winner).[3][4] This led to a controversy about the use of IRV in mayoral elections,[5] culminating in a successful 2010 citizen’s initiative repealing IRV’s use by a vote of 52% to 48%.[6][7][8] Ranked-choice voting would thus remain unused in Burlington until 2021, when voters again adopted IRV for all city council elections (but not mayoral ones) by a vote of 64% to 36%.[9]

    – but overall, it is better.

    It a=can also be manipulated a bit by the choice of candidates.

    We don’t use RCV for statewide elections in CA, we use another uncommon system — except in some local elections where RCV has generally worked as intended.

    Sammy Finkelman (418659)

  26. We don’t use RCV for statewide elections in CA, we use another uncommon system

    That would be the jungle primary. In Louisiana the “primary” takes place on general election day I think///.

    Sammy Finkelman (418659)

  27. Alaska also has a jungle primary, except that we send the top four to the ranked choice general.

    I believe my preferred format would be a system where a #1 vote gets a point count equal to the number of candidates, a #2 gets n-1 and so on. Total all the points and the winner is then the candidate that gets the highest total count (without requiring an outright majority as ranked choice does). Although I’m not sure this would ever produce different results.

    Soronel Haetir (6ef4cf)

Leave a Reply


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1690 secs.