OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump just got some fantastic news from Alaska as a new model predicts his candidate will defeat one of his biggest Republican detractors.
Alaska uses ranked choice voting and a simulation done by FiveThirtyEight showed that the Trump backed candidate, Kelly Tshibaka, defeated Sen. Lisa Murkowski 52 of 100 times.
But because Alaska uses ranked choice voting it could favor Murkowski in what is expected to be a close election, Breitbart News reported.
One of the challenges Tshibaka faces is the state’s newly instituted ranked-choice voting system, which ultimately affords Democrat voters the opportunity to vote for Murkowski on the second and third ballots. A recent video exposed a Murkowski aide who said the 2020 ballot initiative to decide whether to institute ranked-choice voting in Alaska was pushed by people who “wanted Lisa to get re-elected.”
Not all circumstances favor Murkowski. Tshibaka has a strong chance to upset Murkowski, whose father gave her the seat 21 years ago.
Tshibaka has gained three endorsements from candidates who have dropped out of the race, an important factor amid the ranked-choice voting system. Coalesced support behind Tshibaka means fewer votes may slip away to Murkowski in the balloting process.
Tshibaka has also thrived on in-state fundraising. While Murkowski has raised 85 percent of 2022 cycle donations from outside the state of Alaska, Tshibaka is winning the battle among Alaskan donors by about $20,000, a notable feat against a politician who has been in office for 21 years.
Murkowski has voted to advance several of Biden’s secretaries including Interior Secretary Deb Haaland who has done damage to Alaska energy producers.
“We knew before the vote that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland would be against our jobs, that she was out to get our jobs, and she hasn’t disappointed on that front,” Oil & Gas Workers Association Matt Coday said.
“And for Lisa Murkowski, for her to cast the tie-breaking vote to advance her confirmation, it’s really a slap in the face of every American who works in this industry,” he said.
Former President Trump wasted little time at his rally in July tearing into arguably one of the biggest Never-Trumper lawmakers in Congress.
At a rally in Anchorage, Alaska, Trump set his sights on Sen. Murkowski, calling her “worse than a Democrat.”
Trump was in Alaska to support other Republican candidates, particularly Sarah Palin, who is running to replace the late Republican Rep. Don Young.
But it didn’t take long for the 45th president to turn his sights toward Murkowski, who is in the middle of a tough GOP primary race against Trump-endorsed candidate Kelly Tshibaka.
“She’s a total creature of the Washington swamp but much worse than that and a tool of a corrupt establishment, the likes of which we’ve never seen. The fake news media loves her,” Trump said.
“This is your precious chance to dump the horrific RINO Senator Lisa Murkowski, using the acronym for “Republican in name only, “who’s worse than a Democrat. She’s worse than a Democrat,” Trump added.
Trump also took time at the rally to discuss Palin, the former Republican Alaska governor.
“She will be a true warrior for your state and for the country,” Trump said of Palin during the rally.
“Sir, we need you back. Four more years. Four more years,” Palin said while on stage with Trump. “And President Trump, you are home.”
Trump also discussed other topics, including Elon Musk’s recent decision to terminate the contract to buy Twitter.
For her part, Murkowski is admitting that she may lose her primary bid to Tshibaka.
“I may not be re-elected,” Murkowski told the New York Times about the possible end of her 20-year Senate career.
“It may be that Alaskans say, ‘Nope, we want to go with an absolute, down-the-line, always, always, 100-percent, never-question, rubber-stamp Republican,” she said about Tshibaka, who is leading in the polls.
“And if they say that that’s the way that Alaska has gone — kind of the same direction that so many other parts of the country have gone — I have to accept that,” Murkowski added. “But I’m going to give them the option… Maybe I am just completely politically naïve, and this ship has sailed. But I won’t know unless we — unless I — stay out there and give Alaskans the opportunity to weigh in.”