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Video shows Sarah Palin’s shocked reaction to losing to Mary Peltola in Alaska House race

‘I mean, really? Alaskans want Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi?’ Palin says after losing to Mary Peltola

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 01 September 2022 16:11 BST
Sarah Palin reacts after losing Alaska house race
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Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin appeared frustrated after losing the special election to fill the state’s only House seat to Democrat Mary Peltola.

Referring to the state’s ranked-choice voting system, the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee was caught on video saying: “When it comes down to second and third place votes, that’s going to decide who’s going to win?”

“I mean, really? Alaskans want [President] Joe Biden and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi?” she asked.

A former state legislator, Ms Peltola will become the first native Alaskan in Congress since the state joined the US in 1959 and the first Democrat to represent the state in almost 50 years.

The special election was prompted by the passing of Republican Representative Don Young, 88, who had held the seat since 1973.

Ms Peltola won the state’s first election using its new ranked-choice voting system, in which the top four candidates take part in the general election, where voters rank their choices in order of preference.

After the initial round of votes, the candidate with the least number of votes is removed from the race and their voters’ second choices are tallied, a process that continues until a candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote.

Late Wednesday night, Twitter users were alight with feedback in response to Palin.

Anchorage Assembly Member Chris Constant tweeted: “Here is what Palin gets wrong. It isn’t about Biden, Pelosi, or Trump. To quote Ted Stevens, ‘to hell with politics, just do what’s right for Alaska.’ We did. Congrats Mary Peltola”.

“Gov Palin the fact that you lost means they don’t want YOU to represent them. Don’t bring nobody else in your mess,” user LaTosha Brown wrote.

Another user added: “What makes this hilarious is the ranked choice voting means we know exactly what happened: It’s not that ‘Alaskans want Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi?!’’s that almost a third of Republicans would rather vote for a Democrat than vote for Sarah Palin.”

Ms Peltola won the final round against Ms Palin by 51.5 per cent against 48.5 per cent.

“This is a huge victory and pickup for Dems, driven more by Palin’s unpopularity than national trends,” election analyst Dave Wasserman noted on Twitter.

Former Republican operative and staunch Trump critic Tim Miller wrote, “I’ve updated my views on Ranked Choice Voting from Meh to You Betcha”.

Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton reacted by baselessly claiming the vote was fraudulent.

“Ranked-choice voting is a scam to rig elections,” he wrote, before adding: “60% of Alaska voters voted for a Republican, but thanks to a convoluted process and ballot exhaustion—which disenfranchises voters—a Democrat ‘won’.”

“Wait til you learn who got the most votes in the 2016 election,” Mr Miller responded, referencing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 popular vote win by almost three million votes. She lost the electoral college 306-232.

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