A new poll shows that U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka would defeat Sen. Lisa Murkowski if the election were held today.

The survey, conducted by Cygnal for the Tshibaka campaign, uses Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and reveals that Tshibaka would beat Murkowski by nearly two points, 50.8% to 49.2% under the ranked choice paradigm.

Tshibaka’s campaign released the results on March 28. Pollster Brock McCleary noted that her campaign has only made “modest investments in advertising” so far, but has already “tripled her name identification over the last year and positioned herself to be the next U.S. Senator from Alaska.”

“Based on the strength of her grassroots popularity, Tshibaka has united the center-right of the Alaska electorate in rejection of incumbent Lisa Murkowski’s re-election bid,” McCleary added.

The poll suggests that the conservative Tshibaka could enjoy an even greater margin over Murkowski as campaign season ramps up with expanded advertising over the next few months.

Since voters will rank four candidates in the November general election, the poll included Tshibaka, Murkowski, a generic Democrat, and a generic Libertarian candidate. Using the ranked choice process, the poll eliminated the candidate who finished fourth in the initial vote and redistributed those votes based on voters’ second-ranked choices for the eliminated candidate. The process continued until one candidate reached 50% plus one vote.

Murkowski has never achieved 50% of the vote in any of her past U.S. Senate election victories, which were never done under the ranked-choice system.

According to the new poll, Tshibaka would lead Murkowski 45.4% to 28.7% in the first round of ranked choice voting. That is just counting original first place votes for each candidate. While it’s still not quite the 50% plus one needed to avoid the round-two ranked choice runoff, it’s close. Even a slight movement (4.6 percentage points) in the right direction could yield an outright win for Tshibaka without ever having to deal with the subsequent ranked choice runoff rounds.

The poll also showed that Tshibaka won 84% of Republicans – leading among both men and women.


— Tshibaka dominates Murkowski among both self-described Trump Republicans and Traditional Republicans.

— A strong majority of undecided voters have an unfavorable opinion of Murkowski.

— A whopping 87% of Alaska Republicans hold an unfavorable view of Murkowski.

— President Joe Biden is extremely unpopular in Alaska, with 61.1% of voters having an unfavorable view of him versus 37.2% who hold a favorable opinion.

The poll was conducted March 14-16, and used a sample of 500 likely general election voters in Alaska. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.21%. Cygnal is an award-winning international public opinion and predictive analytics firm and the #1 Republican private pollster by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.

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With modest push Tshibaka could win Senate without ranked choice run-off rounds

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.


  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Wait until Trump comes to Alaska. To campaign for Kelly I’ll be at the rally Go trump Go Kelly

    • Whidbey Thedog says:

      Go Kelly indeed! Back to DC! And this time pay your own relocation expenses.
      And Go Trump, too! To jail.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    This will be one for the record books. Kelly will have her hands full. Good luck Kelly. Lisa, will be out on here democratic views of late. Bye Lisa! No more riding in on the motorcycle on Memorial Day up at Byers Lake.

  • Mary says:

    Voter fraud has kept Lisa and others in office for years. Do you really expect that to change? Honest people have very little chance in Alaska’s corrupt election system. Rank Choice Voting never won legitimately but Miller refuses to investigate. Need I say more about Miller?????

    • Auto zone says:

      Do you have any evidence of years of voter fraud? Of course you don’t but it’s fun to gripe

  • Gunner says:

    Since this poll was bought and paid for by the tshibaka campaign, I am surprised they only came up with a 2 point differential. Trust me, by this time next year, kelly will be back east, but not as an alaska senator.

  • Greg in Homer says:

    It will be the happiest vote I ever cast when I can vote against Lisa Murkowski. I can’t begin to describe how much of a disappointment she has been. What a waste she has turned out to be.

    • Bricks says:

      I wouldn’t get so confident about this elction.I am not confident in Kelly and I am DEFINITELY against Murkowski.This is the best Alaska has to offer.Meh…

  • Whidbey Thedog says:

    Tshibaka is an opportunist and carpetbagger who embellishes stories about her past (thank you Dermot Cole), and who is really a DC insider instead of an Alaskan. She has no real interest in this State but is only interested in advancing her political career. Don’t underestimate the strength of Murkowski. Most Alaskans realize what she has done for the State, and appreciate her voting her conscience instead of following the dictates of the extreme-Right. It’s time for Barbie Doll to head back east, and just watch – as soon as she loses, she’ll be headed back.

    • Granny says:

      Murkowski is supposed to vote for her incumbents…not her own personal desires. She hated Trump and his personality and was going to vote against him…no matter what!

      • Whidbey Thedog says:

        Correct! Hating Trump is indeed proof that she is a voice of reason!
        What a thoroughly disgusting man. Worst President ever, and it’s not even close.

  • Ed says:

    It is dangerous to be overconfident at this point in the race. Murkowski’s got lots of outside BIG MONEY propping her up. Be wary, Alaskans!

  • MF says:

    Joel, can you please do an article explaining (in simple terms, if possible) how to do ranked-choice voting? Many people think they need only vote for their one choice and leave the rest blank.

    • Trained Observer says:

      Unless the Department of Elections interprets the statute to nullify ballots without 4 choices, you could effectively vote once and obtain a 50%+1 vote without the need for a run-off. This whole Measure 2 process is specifically designed to create a situation where the ballots are manipulated to achieve a desired outcome.

  • NAV says:

    Murkowski is a snake in a RINO skin and has more support from the DNC for her re election and is the one pushing Dunleavy on all his violations against Alaskans civil liberties to hide where the money went in the two years of lock down!!!!

  • NAV says:

    The supreme court appointee by brain dead biden/obama has more over turned cases in the Nation and Murkowski is supporting her at the DNC’s orders!!!

  • Trained Observer says:

    How about we nominate Tshibaka in the jungle primary for Congress as a temporary fill, while finding a suitable candidate for the House in the meantime. She can legally serve in the House while running for Senate.