If Sen. Lisa Murkowski is to retain her seat in the U.S. Senate she will have to do so without the support of the Alaska Republican Party. On March 13, three quarters of the Alaska Republican Party State Central Committee leadership voted to censure Murkowski for a litany of grievances that indicate she no longer supports the core mission and vision of the GOP.

Whether a break with the GOP will hinder Murkowski’s bid for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate remains to be seen. She is up for reelection in 2022, but this time around she can take advantage of the new ranked choice voting scheme that a narrow majority of Alaskans approved in the last general election.

Ranked-choice voting does away with all party primaries in favor of a nonpartisan primary in which the top four candidates go on to the general election. Many political observers see this as an advantage for Murkowski who is one of the most liberal Republicans in the U.S. Senate. By having a general, nonpartisan primary, candidates can hide their political affiliations and thereby conceal their true political philosophy from voters in the primary.

By avoiding a primary challenge against a strong conservative candidate, Murkowski will instead be able to draw upon Democratic, Independent and Undeclared voters in order to advance to the general election as one of the top four vote getters. This will be key for her chances in November 2022.

Once the top four candidates make it out of the primary, voters will then vote on their first, second, third and fourth place choices in the general election. If one candidate wins a majority of first place votes, they are the automatic winner. If, however, no candidate wins a majority of first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest first place votes is eliminated and all their second-place votes are doled out to the remaining candidates. This process continues until one candidate wins a majority of votes.

In such a scenario, Murkowski could draw a considerable number of second choice votes from Democrats and other liberal leaning voters to cobble together a majority. To date, Murkowski has won three terms as a U.S. senator without ever winning a majority of the vote. She took 48.6% of the vote in 2004, 39.5% in 2010, and 44.4% in 2016.

In the last November general election, ranked choice voting passed as a ballot initiative by a narrow 50.5% to 49.5% margin. The Alaska Independence Party has launched a legal challenge to the new law, claiming it is unconstitutional.

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Alaska’s Republican Party abandons Murkowski for 2022. Will it matter?

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Linda says:

    We have a year and a half to change this…to make sure that she’s never in Alaska politics again! There has to be a way…legally! We have a lot of smart people in Alaska…sad she’s not one of them…and we can get her out!

  • Lobo says:

    Correction… She abandoned the citizens of Alaska…. Starting on her first day in office.

  • Fred Lee says:

    Question: What is the “core mission and vision of the GOP”?

    Let’s be real. They’re not supporting her because she failed to kneel in front of their golden idol. Today’s GOP are a cult of personality in the worst sense. The GOP once stood for something. Free trade. Strong foreign policy. Leading the world. Today’s GOP worships a politician, a lousy man, a lousy husband, and a poor excuse for a leader. Sad.

    • DoneWithIt says:

      Yup Fred – we’ve abandoned free trade for fair trade, we’ve abandoned “strong foreign policy” so we stop the endless wars and bloodshed, and we want a controlled border so we don’t have a humanitarian crisis like we have now on our southern border. sorry we’ve abandoned the policies of the establishment demonrats and repubics for policies that support the nation state and the working people versus the policies of the globalists and the new world order. you just don’t get it Fred…

    • Steve says:

      What type of chaos will be created with the new system if you (everyone) refused to vote for a second, third, forth… etc. choice candidate?

    • Linda says:

      Are you jealous?? Because your idiot Biden is giving away our country. We had started back to having free HONEST trade, more American jobs, and the world admiring the US once again. Until the crooked election and the China virus! All perpetrated by the Democratic party! Thank please go back in your hole…AND STAY THERE!

    • Smith Smith says:

      And you sir are apparently a supporter of the communist/democrats. May I conclude you are a Biden supporter?


      opposite of the democraps

  • G Aleution says:

    I don’t trust anyone who never says “republic” or “our Constitution” or questions assumed powers without enactments having been passed.

  • Jo says:

    I believe that when a FORENSIC AUDIT of our election we will find that ranked voting was voted out since it is just another form of cheating

  • Jon and Ruth Ewig says:

    Ballot measure two was illegal and a lawsuit was brought challenging the legality. The leftist Alaska Supreme Court “legislated in stead of our legislature. That is not their function. It still is not legal to do what happened when it is a legislative function not a judicial function. Ballot Measure two was illegally submitted, illegally voted in and illegally dropped. Furthermore the Dominion Voting Machine was in place which could easily rig the outcome of the vote on Ballot Measure #2. No one has taken Dominion Voting systems out of Alaska even though there is a petition that I signed to ban it. We cannot expect to go forward with voter integrity. Ranked voting is cheating. Under this system which is used in California Pelosi won to a lesser Democrat, not to a Republican and cheated her way back into office.

  • NAV says:

    Murkowski is finished in Alaska she is pure political scum, if ever there was an example of self centered political overreach she is it!!!

  • DJ in AK says:

    Look no further than the reason Murkowski voted to confirm Deb Haaland. Her reason? Because she is an American Indian and a female. She is also one of the most ardent supporters of banning oil exploration and fracking on federal land which is exactly why Biden appointed her. Does this sound like a senator looking out for the best interest of her state? Especially a state who’s economy depends on oil for a large portion of its economy!
    Sullivan was no better in his reason to vote for Haaland.

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