Sarah Palin says ‘entire country’ should be ‘outraged’ at her failure to get elected

GOP candidate failed to reignite her political career after resigning from office amid scandal

John Bowden
Thursday 08 September 2022 06:02 BST
Sarah Palin complains about Alaska's ranked choice vote system

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin thinks you should be angry that she is not heading to Congress.

That’s what the failed Republican House candidate told an interviewer this week on Real America’s Voice, a right-wing YouTube channel. Ms Palin blamed her defeat on Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system, which allocates the votes of defeated candidates after a first round of voting to the top two remaining candidates based on the personal preferences of voters.

“It was the political establishment that created this system with the ranked-choice voting,” Ms Palin declared. “And, without encouraging the other Republican to drop out once he got thumped three times.”

“Others should be outraged about what’s going on here, because our system is harming the rest of the US,” she concluded.

The former governor’s complains echo those of other Republicans who were dismayed to see Alaska’s at-large congressional seat flip to Democratic hands for the first time in decades.

"Ranked choice voting, I think, is unconstitutional,” GOP congressman Tom Emmer told The Hill on Wednesday.

"60 per cent of the voters in Alaska voted for the Republican agenda. And someone with less than 40 per cent is going to represent that. See, that doesn't make much sense. A constitutional republic wasn't designed that way,” he went on.

His math, and the general understanding of both Ms Palin and Mr Emmer of how ranked-choice voting works is flawed. There is one reason, and one reason alone, that Sarah Palin is not heading to Congress: enough of her rival Republican Mark Begich’s supporters preferred Mary Peltola, the Democratic candidate, over Ms Palin for the Democrat to overcome her opponent. It’s that simple. Had Mr Begich dropped out before the first round of voting, there’s no reason to think that the same people who voted for Mr Begich and ranked Ms Peltola as their second choice would have had some kind of conservative epiphany and flipped to support Ms Palin instead.

But the fury of Ms Palin’s supporters has not been quelled by explanations of what actually happened and she has continued to rage against Alaska’s new system in the days since her defeat. It’s unclear if the former governor plans to adjust her strategy for November, when she, Ms Peltola, and Mr Begich will all fight a rematch; Ms Peltola’s victory this summer only won her the seat for the four remaining months of the late Rep Don Young’s term in office.

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