Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has been projected as the winner of Alaska’s Senate race, beating Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka in the state’s ranked-choice election after the state tabulated voters’ second and third rankings on Wednesday.
Murkowski, who was censured by the Alaska Republican Party in March 2021 and asked to leave office after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump, finished the ranked-choice election with 53.7%, or 135,972 votes, compared to Tshibaka’s 46.3%, or 117,299 votes.
🚨NEWS | Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) wins re-election after the ranked choice voting instant runoff tabulation. She defeats Trump-endorsed Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka.
Final round results:
Murkowski (R-inc) 135,972
Tshibaka (R) 117,299 pic.twitter.com/a21iZi3wnc
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) November 24, 2022
The pro-impeachment 21-year incumbent narrowly won the highly contested Senate race likely due to Alaska’s recent decision to switch to an open, ranked-choice voting system, which Murkowski supported instituting in 2020.
According to Breitbart News, “The voting system ultimately protects incumbents by allowing the Republican Party to cannibalize its vote while permitting Democrats to vote for Republicans.”
Murkowski’s share of the vote shot up after Democrat candidate Pat Chesbro was eliminated from the race, as the Republican incumbent received a significant share of second-choice votes from Chesbro’s Democrat supporters, according to Alaskan news outlet KTOO.
Murkowski was also aided with $9 million from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by Sen. Mitch McConnell who was also censured by the Alaska Republican Party back in October for attacking Murkowski’s opponent, Kelly Tshibaka. The money donated by McConnell’s super PAC was used to attack Tshibaka in campaign ads.
Over the last two years, Murkowski has been accused of dismissing the values of her voter base and enabling the Biden administration.
“I’m not a fan of this administration,” Murkowski claimed in September. “I think a lot of their policies have really hurt us. But you know what? They’re in office. And they’re going to be in office for the next two years.”
“I’m working with them to advance things,” she said, referring to Biden’s massive federal spending packages.
Tshibaka has called Murkowski out for enabling Biden and the Democrats.