Murkowski trolls Alaska Senate challenger as she leads in first-place votes

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) trolled her opponent, Republican Kelly Tshibaka, after taking the lead in first-place votes for the state Senate race.

Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system means that voters rank candidates from first place to last place, and a candidate must win a majority of first-place votes to win outright without the need for additional rounds.

While no candidate is projected to win a majority of first-place votes in the first round, Tshibaka led Murkowski by Election Day, but Murkowski held the lead and noted it Tweet on his campaign account on Friday.

Murkowski posted a GIF from the movie “The Usual Suspects”, which includes a line from the film at the beginning.

“And just like that…” says the GIF, with text overlaying continues, “Kelly claims she only lost because of Rank’s choice.”

Murkowski leads Tshibaka by about 0.4 points in first-place votes, with 98 percent reporting as of Friday night.

Under ranked choice, the lowest first-place candidate is eliminated if no one receives a majority in the first round, and their votes are redistributed to the other remaining candidates according to their voter’s second preference.

Republican Buzz Kelly received less than 3 percent of the vote, so he would be eliminated first, and Democrat Pat Chesbrough, who won nearly 10 percent of the vote, would be eliminated in the second round.

Whichever candidate receives more of Chesbro’s votes is likely to win the race. Analysts believe Murkowski is more likely to prevail because she is more moderate and less supportive of former President Trump than Tshibaka.

All absentee votes will be counted by Wednesday, and additional votes from additional rounds will be counted then.

Rip. Conservatives rejected ranked-choice voting after Mary Peltola (D) won a special election for Alaska’s House seat in August over Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, receiving enough votes to finish first and second. .

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