Democratic U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, who won the August special election to fill out the remaining months of the late Rep. Don Young’s term, appears headed to a similar victory in the general election.

With 96% of precincts reporting, the tally as of Nov. 9 shows Peltola with a commanding lead (47.13%) over Republican challengers Sarah Palin (26.62%) and Nick Begich (24.27%). Since Peltola will likely finish with less than 50% of the vote, the contest appears headed to ranked-choice voting.

While the combined Republican vote (including both Palin and Begich) adds up to about 51%, a Democratic victor is a likely scenario.

If the current numbers hold, Begich would be eliminated in the third round (after Libertarian Chris Bye – who only had 1.74% of the vote), meaning the second-choice votes on all Begich ballots would be distributed to Palin and Peltola.

In August, two-thirds of Begich supporters listed Palin as their second choice, with one-third favoring Peltola. If that same scenario plays out again, Peltola will win, since Palin needs nearly all of Begich’s second-place votes in order to overcome Peltola’s lead.

After the August special election, however, both Palin and Begich made concerted efforts to encourage their supporters to rank the other Republican second. Whether this strategy was successful remains to be seen.

The vote tallies for all candidates will change over the next 15 days as tens of thousands of absentee and early ballots are tallied and added to the final results, which will be announced on Nov. 23.

This is a developing story.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Peltola leads: Alaska House race looks like a repeat of August special election

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.


  • Dee Cee says:

    I hate to be cynical, but I would be willing to bet money that the ~15,000 Begich/Peltola voters repeated themselves again this time. I would be willing to bet money that they were overwhelmingly left leaning libertarian, moderate Dems, and seriously anti-Paliners. They are GLAD they gave Peltola the win. They would have preferred Begich, but they knew they’d be happy with Peltola. So, in essence, Alaska’s voting population is no longer blood red, but has crossed over to largely liberal democrats. Game set match for Alaska’s future. Hate to be Negative Nancy. But I really think Alaska is going the way of Washington and California. The conservative ship has sailed.

    • Elizabeth Henry says:

      You make good points. And there certainly are a myriad of Californians, Washingtonians, and Oregonians moving north and likely many are bringing awful politics along. Not all, which is why I say ‘many’ .

    • Jim Madden says:

      What has happened is that as Republicans move to the right, and as Dems move to the left, the majority of Alaska (and many other places) has moved somewhat toward the center. Begich was the more moderate Republican and Peltola is somewhat moderate. Palin is far right.

  • Mary says:

    Would someone please explain to me why Lisa was able to be appointed to the U.S. Senate by her father in 2002? That strikes of nepotism! But, we had to have a special election to replace Young. Just doesn’t see right to me.

    • Steve says:

      My understanding is the State legislature passed a law, after Lisa’s appointment, that requires a special election upon a Federal seat vacancy. Which if Alaskan’s were so upset with the nepotism, how has Lisa ever been re-elected.

  • Lonny says:

    We can thank the AK GOP for this loss. Really? It does not take a political major to figure out two Republicans running on the same ticket against a single Jack Ass equals a Jack Ass being elected. Way to go AK GOP for allowing two Rs on the ticket…turns out you’re the Jack Asses!

    • Michael Hughes says:

      I blame Palin.

    • Clark says:

      It was the will of the Alaskan people to adopt ranked choice voting. It was a ballot initiative. It passed. We have grown tired of the crazy endless lies and scandal and the extreme and violeny rhetoric of the Trump worshippers. That seems to have played out all across the country. Not just here in AK. With the economy and inflation, Democrats should have been destroyed this cycle. Turns out people that assumed Roe would never be overturned werent happy to have their daughters and wives be reduced to second class baby-incubators.

      • M.John says:

        It was the will of a democrat in New Jersey to pour millions of dollars into a ballot initiatve in Alaska. It was the will of the democrat controlled Alaska Judiciary to threaten the main group pointing this out, and shut them down with legal threats. I have yet to encounter an Alaskan who supports RCV, which “passed” by a razor-thin margin. Very hard to believe RCV was “the will of the Alaskan people”…. – M.John

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Clark, if an actual, real, untouched vote was taken today to see Alaskans want rcv, I am willing to bet that a majority would vote to get rid of it. You keep saying that it is the will of the people. I honestly believe that you keep saying this because you are going to say it until it is true. Well, it is not true Clark and it won’t ever be true. You said that people voted for it. Just like all of our other “voting” that we are doing. It has been a lot of selection – not votes – putting people, policies, and systems in to place. In the end, all of these policies and systems that hurt humanity will be removed and that includes the cheating ranked choice voting. The days are done of a tiny little group of people trying to make the majority believe that the majority is a tiny little group. The Majority are humanity-loving folks and the Majority will prevail because of truth and what is righteous, love for our brothers and sisters and a love for our Heavenly Father.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        M.John, I agree! I have not met anyone that supports RCV either. Isn’t it amazing that it “just barely passed.” That is what we have heard for every other issue/candidate that we found out was rigged!
        I am waiting for my response to Clark to be reviewed by the moderator. I hope that he approves the comment.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Stunning, but I personally know a few people who still did not understand what they needed to do in the ranking. They voted for one of the two conservatives. If they had asked me prior to voting I would have carefully explained but alas they did not. Many, conservatives especially, really don’t pay attention. They don’t read conservative news or listen to talk radio – they only see feeds on their computer or hear bits and pieces here and there. Granted, most of those, like most of all of us, are busy working very hard running private businesses, or in jobs, trying to make ends meet. I do get that, but truly then do not listen to the false ads either, and at least ask, someone you trust to have taken time to have the necessary information, for voting guidance.

    Well it is what it is now and my prayer is the next level of counts might move to the right. Then, pray we can get rid of RCV! Voting should never be so complicated!

    • Truth Network says:

      Ranked Choice Voting is as easy as 1-2-3. Personally I refuse to believe that conservative Republicans are less intelligent than their Democratic counterparts and just can’t figure out a ballot.

      The people I know who voted correctly (that is, ranked their choices) intentionally voted Begich first, Peltola second. They *do not want* Palin to be elected, in large part due to her divisive and performative politics. They prefer Peltola to Palin.

      The GOP shot itself in the foot with both Palin and Tshibaka. Serious voters want serious candidates who put God, country, family, and community above political party.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Shame on Mary Peltola for being willing to sell out Alaska and hand over her people to the genocidal globalists.
    Shame on Nick Begich for riding on his family name, but selling himself as a Republican.
    Shame on Alaskan voters for not having critical thinking skills to see that these two are selling all of us out.

  • Fran Turner "Grandma" says:

    Abolish rank choice voting needs to be in the next election cycle. Voter pamphlets need to honestly represent the issues: the “yes” side of con con wasn’t even requested or addressed. Haven’t we had enough of Lisa by now???? At the least she needs to get honest and switch parties. How dare she run as a republican after the GOP dumped her. But then again how dare she do all the things she’s done. Outside funding. Outright lies about her opponents. Votes with the dems. She’s poison, how can so many Alaskans still think she’s worthy to hold her office??? Well…. both Dee and Elizabeth are right in their observations. How do we protect ourselves from ourselves…. But for now, pray for Kelly!

  • Bess says:

    “Sara the spoiler” tilted this race. Had she not listened to her ego and jumped into the race at the last minute, we would not be stuck with a total loonytoon leftist as our congressperson. Thanks a lot Sara!

  • ML says:

    The only comments I agree with totally is Lonny, and those that see RCV as an abomination. Serious voters do want a candidate that believe in God, Country, family, common sense, and community, and that candidate would be a Conservative Republican.

  • CD says:

    I don’t understand why Peltola as a democrat got to run in the special election in the first place. Aren’t you supposed to replace a Republican with another Republican?
    Bess, Palin ran for office because others were asking her to.
    Mary, I did not know that Lisa was appointed by her Dad or maybe I forgot, it’s so long ago. Why didn’t Governor Dunleavy appoint someone in Young’s place then? Who was in the wrong?

  • ken says:

    Sarah, Please stay out of AK races. TV is better for you.

  • Polarbull says:

    I could not hold my nose tight enough to rank Begich second. I have felt he is a Dem in RINO clothing & it was the Dems strategy all along to split the Republican candidate even if Don was still around. Between ultra lib Anchorage media, residents, & the Native vote conservatives are disadvantaged.

    • Sharon Alice Turner says:

      If we are using term RINO , my # 1 has for many years been “Murky” Murkowski! Follow the money, her votes etc.. Now ask why Peltola.. also uses the fake ‘term’ Choice, a woman’s health ( we never hear of men’s health. and their choices). Our Native’s just had two big meets. Keeping traditional ways is always at forefront. How can any traditions be passed on if we allow a culture of death to tiniest persons to called ‘choice’? Who will be left? grandma