Kelly Tshibaka, the conservative Alaskan Republican who currently enjoys a narrow lead over incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (44.22% to 42.84%) spoke with Fox News host Sean Hannity over the weekend detailing how she could pull out a victory once the final tally is announced on Nov. 23.

Hannity began the interview by calling into question Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system, which requires multiple rounds of vote counting if no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote in round one.

“I actually call it ‘The Lisa Murkowski Incumbency Protection Ranking System’ of voting,” he said. “Am I wrong on that.”

“You’re absolutely correct Sean,” Tshibaka responded. “This was put in place by Murkowski’s allies and her campaign staff that was exposed in those undercover videos. So, we know that the system was rigged in her favor.”

In ranked choice voting, the lowest performing candidate in round one is eliminated and all the second-choice votes on those ballots are then redistributed to the remaining candidates. This process continues until someone achieves more than 50% of the vote, or until all rounds are completed.

“Remember, these Democrats, that voted the Democrat first, these might be your principled Democrats who aren’t going to vote for a Republican,” Tshibaka surmise

Many political observers, on both the left and right, believe this system favors Murkowski, who would have likely lost in a traditional Republican primary. With ranked-choice voting, however, she can put together a coalition of left-of-center Republicans, independents and Democrats to potentially defeat the preferred Republican candidate.

Despite the ranked choice system, Tshibaka noted that she was honored to have the lead “at this point” over the 21-year incumbent.

“It’s clear that Alaskans have gotten that message through,” she said. “We have a definite uphill battle, and I’m honored to have their support.”

Hannity pointed out that in the ranked-choice system, the first candidate who will be eliminated is Buzz Kelley. While he dropped out of the race, and supported Tshibaka, his name remained on the ballot, and he ultimately took about 3% of the vote. Tshibaka is hoping to pick up a significant number of Buzz Kelley’s second-choice votes once he is eliminated in round two.

“I love the rugged individualism of the people of Alaska,” Hannity said. “But this system, ya’ll have in Alaska is probably the dummest system I’ve ever seen across the country.

“This is going to be a lengthy process and we need to make sure there aren’t any game’s played through the ranked choice scenario,” Tshibaka said. “We need resources for ballot observers. People can help me at”

In the next round of voting, however, third-place finisher Patricia Chesbro will be eliminated. She is a hard-left Democrat who took about 10% of the vote.

Due to Murkowski’s penchant for regularly breaking with her Republican party and siding with Democrats, Hannity expressed concern that most of the Chesbro’s votes would go to Murkowski, and may wind up giving her a narrow victory.

Tshibaka pushed back on that narrative, explaining that many pro-abortion Democrats are mad at Murkowski for voting to confirm Trump’s judicial pics who ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Remember, these Democrats, that voted the Democrat first, these might be your principled Democrats who aren’t going to vote for a Republican,” Tshibaka surmised. “Those Democrats might not vote for anybody second place. That’s also an option. They could just be party-line Democrats who don’t want any Republican at all.”

In the August nonpartisan primary, Murkowski garner 45% of the vote to Tshibaka’s 38.5%, but there were many other conservative candidates in the 19-person primary field, who might have otherwise voted for Tshibaka if the field was more limited in terms of conservative choices. Chesbro took 6.82% of the vote in the primary.

Hannity concluded the interview by lamenting the fact that Tshibaka could win the first round of voting, but ultimately lose to Murkowski, due to second-place votes Murkowski picks up from an eliminated Democratic candidate.

“I love the State of Alaska,” Hannity said. “I love the rugged individualism of the people of Alaska, but this system, ya’ll have in Alaska is probably the dummest system I’ve ever seen across the country. I suggest, strongly, that you change it because, otherwise, this will continue. It’s crazy.”

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Tshibaka tells Hannity why she sees a ‘path to victory’ over Murkowski

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.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    I have to agree on the rigged rank choice voting system Alaska has now needs to be replaced. It’s the only way to have fair unbias elections. Each time they recount these ballots they look at differences and errs can happen. . I say count only the first ballot and whoever leads they win.. It’s bye bye Lisa, hello Kelly. If Lisa wants to run again in 6 years well so be it.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Talk about a blatant-in-your-face cheating system. I hope that Murcowski and Peltola realize that they are not going to be able to walk the streets of Alaska in quietness – there will be so much boo’ing for the cheaters! Kelly Tshibaka, we are praying that you win your race. You should have won that race hands-down, but the cheating is so horrific now. This all is going to be interesting history to look back on!

  • Clark says:

    You guys know that Alaska VOTED to switch to ranked-choice, right? We got sick of being stuck between choosing party over sensibility. In Lisa’s previous election, we all got stuck voting either for a Tea Party crackpot Joe Miller, or an basically unknown Democrat. So Lisa ran as a WRITE-IN candidate and won. Get that? Alaskans do NOT want extremist candidates anymore. It doesn’t work when the state that is most dependent on government subsidies sends politicians to Washington that want to burn the house down.

    Ranked choice means no more rigging the system by the DNC or the GOP. They need to put up populist candidates that will represent all of us. Not zealots on a quest to trash our Constitution or control women’s uteruses.

    Its an insult to the majority of AK voters to pretend they didnt know what they wanted. We did. And some day Lisa will be retired and we will STILL want rank-choice voting.

    • Bob says:

      Did Alaskans vote in this RC system? The 2020 election had the same MO, RC going down in defeat the night of the election and in a few days, enough ballets were found to approve it!

      • Clark says:

        Alaska has always taken a long time to count votes. Our laws do not allow absentee or mail-in votes to be counted early. Same day voting typically favors republicans, while mail-in and absentee typically favor Democrats. Military votes typically favor republicans. The pandemic greatly exacerbated this trend since large gatherings of people were dangerous. So a lot more Democrats stayed home and did mail-in instead. This happened all over the country. So ON election day it looks like Republicans are ahead all over the place. Its because their votes are literally getting counted mostly first. It’s not a conspiracy. Its just how counting the votes happens.

    • Alaska Wife says:

      The only reason we got ranked choice voting was because the majority of voters bought the out right lie that this ballot measure was getting rid of “Dark Money” flowing into our State! Any ballot measure with 20+ pages is something to be wary of in the first place! Voters were duped! I’m happy to say I followed the money and saw all the corrupt sponsors!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Clark, quit writing like you speak for all of Alaska. In truth, your words only represent a small group of people. This is why you have to play the blame game and call people names – make people think that you are in the majority when in fact, you are in a small minority. Clark, YOU DO NOT REPRESENT THE MAJORITY OF ALASKANS…PERIOD.

      • Clark says:

        Friend of Humanity, you should understand how context works by now. Gotta say its epically ironic hearing someone who lost the election claim the guy who voted with the winners isnt part of the majority. Thats literally how Democracy work. The majority wins. Clearly, you are a minority too, otherwise you would have won.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Clark, Lisa Murkowski initially got installed by her daddy in 2002 – she was not voted in. She should have been removed in 2002 because she was not elected by the people.

        In 2010, The Alaska Republic party did not endorse her – they endorsed Joe Miller instead, so Lisa listed herself as a write-in. How she won that race is just a miracle (not).

        For the 2022 race, Murkowski and her buddies got the ranked choice voting system set up to cheat her back into her seat.

        I would love to see a re-vote by paper ballot and hand count between Tshibaka and Murkowski. That would shut down this back and forth about who the majority voted for in reality.

      • Clark says:

        I’ve lived here for 22 years. I was also ticked when Murkowski senior tapped his own daughter for the spot. I do not like nepotism. There was no lack of outcry at the time. Unfortunately, what he did wasn’t illegal. The law at the time gave him the authority to do that. I believe the legislature fixed that loophole, however Lisa proved herself to be an effective public servant and she has stayed that way for a long time. Hence why she was so popular that she won reelection several times and why she won as a write-in candidate. Something thats only been done what, once or twice in American history?

        I’m not even a big fan of hers. She voted with the Trump agenda 72% of the time while he was in office. She is far from being a liberal, but at least she has certain principles(like not supporting Trump’s insurrection and coup). Judging by the election, it appears the majority agree with me. Ironically, Sarah Palin could not have won. But all the conservatives could have voted for Nick and he would have won. You guys all knew that cuz we saw exactly what would happen 3 months ago. We all saw that 1/3 of Begichs voters would rather the Democrat win than let Palin win. But Palin was unable to swallow her pride for the good of the party. She chose to lose and have a Democrat in office rather than step out to ensure a republican win. On principle, You guys should hate her for being that selfish. But I would wager that many of Palins voters refused to rank anyone else.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Clark, your post about Lisa’s history was made after I posted info. Well, at least I am glad that you took the time to read the info that I posted. Can you please show Lisa’s voting statistics showing that she supported the Trump “agenda” 72% of the time? I would be more inclined to say that she voted with democrats 72% of the time.

        As for this sentence of yours, “On principle, You guys should hate her for being that selfish.” Why are you putting these words: “hate,” “selfish” in the conversation? Those are certainly good words to cause divisiveness. Why would you say these things? You seem to use a lot of words appealing to emotion and pointing-the-finger; like trying to make people feel small or feel like they are the minority or like they just don’t know any better.

    • Ceak says:

      the top of the GOP backed Murkowski and spent millions on anti Kelly Tshibaka ads. Tell me that’s not the GOP trying to rig the system from a national level. Mitch McConnell spent around 7 million to promote Murkowski and attack Tshibaka, both of them Republicans. Alaska Republicans don’t want Murkowski. She’s been censured and told she doesn’t represent us. Big money is what pushed ranked choice on us and big money is what’s keeping Murkowski in office. you’re mistaken if you think this is good for Alaskans.

      • Clark says:

        Ranked choice was supported by several sitting Democrats, Republicans and Independent members. As well as several prominent former members. As well as a dozen different PACs, including the Alaska Libertarian Party, Alaska League of Women Voters.

        Not sure why you guys care how much was spent on it. Every ballot initiative is expensive and every time they happen rich people donate to both sides for various reasons. That reason is almost always because they think they can get richer if the decision goes their way. But the law obviously did what was intended because yall saying you followed the money and know who donated to get it passed. That means its NOT dark money anymore.

    • Karl C says:

      Yes, after possibly the most dishonest campaign I’ve ever seen. Not once did I see a campaign ad saying “Hey everyone! Wanna totally change our voting system?” In fact, all I ever heard or saw were ads saying “Get rid of ‘dark money.'” Ooooh scaaaary. Ironically, the entire campaign was funded by outside leftist “dark money.” And low information voters like yourself fell for it. But it makes sense: “Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.” -Alexander Hamilton
      I suspect your definition of “extremist” equates to what the rest of us would define as “principled.”

  • Whidbey Thedog says:

    Tshibaka’s embellishment of her past and her outright untruths stand in stark contrast to Lisa’s long history of voting her conscience, standing for what’s right, and working for the best interest of all Alaskans. It’s over Kelly. Now pack up and move yourself back to DC. I’ll bet you can do it for a lot less than $81K.

    • Matthew myers says:

      Why don’t leftist shills for Lying Lisa ever use their real names,

      • Whidbey Thedog says:

        January 6-type tendencies for one reason…

      • Matthew myers says:

        January 6 type tendencies? A tiny bit of vandalism and mostly walking around peacefully within the ropes? Or getting shot by a criminal capitol police officer afraid of his own shadow?

    • Great Granny says:

      Lisa votes for the benefit of herself….not Alaskans! Her obvious hate for president Trump is what has made her decisions in everything. Alaska voted for Trump…and she was going to make sure that anything he approved of ..she was going against! It’s very sad that a hate filled mentality…especially in government…should define where Alaska is headed. She literally…all by herself…voted to kill our oil reserves by confirming Haaland. You can’t ‘kiss ass’ with democrats…they are evil personified! Heading to Socialism and a One World Order!! She is now a member of the Swamp in DC!!

      • Terry Stires says:

        Great Granny: May I quote Friend of Humanity. ” YOU DO NOT REPRESENT THE MAJORITY OF ALASKANS…PERIOD.”

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Clark, Terry Stires and Whidbey Thedog are getting vicious in their rhetoric aren’t they? Full attack mode.

    • ML Moore says:

      I won’t get into truths in this matter as they are determined by the individual and their value system. I will point out that Lisa, was Grandfathered into her fathers office in a way that most Alaskans still don’t understand. You say she has a long history of voting HER conscience. She represents the PEOPLE of this state, and it’s the PEOPLES conscience she needs vote with, not her own agendas or thoughts on a matter. She has enjoyed the spot light of the spoiler, and is now part of the old Rino group in the Senate on it’s way out.
      Kelly, is straight forward and her constituents know how she will vote. Unlike Murkowski, who votes HER OWN mind. She needs to go!

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        I think that there is enough in the internet world to figure out how Lisa got into office. She was not elected by the People and should be removed.
        I don’t have an account with the New York times, but here is a heading from back then: “New Alaska Governor Gives Daughter His Seat in Senate” By Katharine Q. Seelye, Dec. 21, 2002″
        At this link, in Lisa’s biography on the timeline at 12/20/2002, there’s a blurb: “Two years later the Alaska state legislature passed a law requiring special elections to fill Senate vacancies.” Two years later would have been when the seat was up for re-election. Interesting that that did not get addressed for two years after she was installed.

    • John H Slone says:

      “Working for the best interests of Alaska” who are you trying to fool!! Lisa is possibly the most hated politician to ever come out of Alaska!!

  • Matthew myers says:

    Lying Lisa voting her conscience?!?! Are you paid by her lower 48 dark money to say this? Or do you do theses deeds for free? How useful of you.
    There is no discernible conscience from a fake Catholic. If she had a conscience, she would only go to church at DNC headquarters and hold hands with Deb Haaland during prayers to Saul Alinsky.

  • Rosalind Griffin says:

    when the Communist Democrats declare that the MAGA wing of the Republican Party are terrorists, all of you establishment Republicans will become Democrats, because there is no way that the MAGA Patriot’s will turn to the establishment Republicans. You make us want to throw up because you are so weak. the Republican party is dead

  • Charlie Bussell says:

    IT may be a long shot, but with God on your team anything is possible. We are praying for Kelly to win this Senate seat and then lend her shoulder to changing the direction of lots of things in Washington that need changing..!!

    • Karl C says:

      She will lose, God is hastening the second coming. I mean, it’s what we have been praying for, right? Then again, I am no prophet.

    • Whidbey Thedog says:

      With God on your side, why would anything be a long shot?

  • Great Granny says:

    Terry Stires…you wanna bet!!

  • Ken Hills says:

    Anybody Remember the unhonorable Frank Murkowski voting to turn the Wrangle St Elias into a UN World Heritage Site! So the Apple didn’t fall far from the tree. They both sold out Alaska

  • Dan says:

    “Ranked choice means no more rigging the system by the DNC or the GOP.“

    Are you completely insane? Rank Choice Voting is nothing but a 100% scam and I can prove it. RCV is a scam because it tries to take advantage of the natural differences between conservative and liberal voters. Difference’s like conservative voters naturally ranking fewer candidates than liberal voters because they have more confidence in their candidates. This means in general liberal candidates will make many more rank choice selections than conservatives. Many more rank selections means liberals are therefore more likely to not get deleted in later ROUNDS. If they do somehow get deleted, their increased rank choice selections only get added to the remaining liberal candidates. This all means conservatives naturally get their votes and candidates deleted within the Rounds while liberals naturally get their votes transfer to and accumulated by a remaining liberal candidate.

    As the rounds proceed, conservative votes naturally get deleted because of single rank choice voting, while liberal votes naturally accumulate because of multiple rank choice voting. Both conservative and liberal candidates can get eliminated within the sifting ROUNDS but the reality is that basically only conservative votes and candidates get deleted within the ROUNDS. Those conservative votes end up getting deleted because they lack multiple rank choice selections to participate in later ROUNDS and that gets their conservative candidates deleted. RCV therefore allows liberal votes and candidates to get transferred to one of the many remaining liberal candidates while deleting conservative votes and candidates. RCV deletes less popular candidates in general but its little secret is what it does with those rank choice votes it removes from those deleted candidates. It transfers those liberal votes to a remaining liberal candidate because of liberal multiple rank choice selections and it out-right deletes conservative votes because their aren’t any remaining conservative candidates to transfer them to.

    The bottom line is that RCV deletes conservative votes and candidates while allowing liberal votes to transfer to another liberal candidate and that ends up allowing liberal candidates to fraudulently win elections.

    “No more rigging the system by the DNC or the GOP?”. The above described RCV system does nothing but rig elections. It should NOT be used by anyone looking for a fair election.

  • Matt DeBow says:

    In 1996, the deep state incumbent, US Senator Ted Stevens was behind conservative challenger Dave Cuddy in the polls. In the final months before the Primary, the deep state came up with the idea of “opening” the Primary, so that Democrats could cross over and vote for their candidate, Stevens (the Democrat’s candidate was serving time in federal prison in California). This was of course unconstitutional, but the Alaska State Supreme Court ruled the Ted Stevens incumbency Protection system of voting, and allowed the last minute change. After Stevens was safely nominated, the US Supreme Court ruled the system illegal…but not before Stevens was safely re elected. Some things just don’t change. You can’t beat the swamp.