OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A pair of Senate races are heading to post-midterm runoffs after the candidates failed to reach the required majority threshold.
In Alaska, incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot, will face off against challenger and former state official Kelly Tshibaka after neither of them managed to receive 50 percent of the vote.
According to NBC News, Tshibaka managed to receive 44.3 percent, besting Murkowski’s 42.8 percent, with around 75 percent of the vote counted as of Thursday morning.
“In Alaska’s Senate race, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has faced a serious challenge from fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka. Because no candidate on the ballot will reach 50%, the contest now proceeds to a ranked-choice runoff as per the state’s rules. While the seat will be won by a Republican, the ranked-choice voting process will determine the winner,” the outlet reported.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 10, 2022
Kelly Tshibaka still fighting strong against the RINO that is Lisa Murkowski ✊🏻 pic.twitter.com/nz7LNseqgS
— UK Neil (@UKNeil4) November 9, 2022
Meanwhile, the closely-watched U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Trump-backed Herschel Walker and Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock is officially headed to a run-off in December.
“Georgia’s U.S. Senate race is heading to a runoff, with neither major candidate on track to win a majority of votes. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP nominee Herschel Walker will face off again on Tuesday, Dec. 6, with the Senate majority potentially on the line for a second straight election cycle in the historically conservative bastion. Warnock was slightly ahead, with 49 percent of the vote, but Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate clears 50 percent,” Politico reported.
Several political analysts who have noted that former President Donald Trump is expected to formally make an announcement about running for the White House again in 2024 are advising him to now hold off until these two races are called, especially Georgia’s contest.
“Every ounce of Republican energy, every last ounce, needs to go into that Georgia race because it could potentially be what makes or breaks the Senate,” former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during her Fox News program, “Outnumbered,” on Wednesday.
Trump press secretary turned Fox host Kayleigh McEnany says Trump should put his campaign declaration on pause until after a Georgia Senate runoff, pointedly does not recommend he go campaign for Walker but says DeSantis should. pic.twitter.com/bklkjUxqa1
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) November 9, 2022
“Getting Herschel Walker over the finish line,” she continued.
“I know there’s a temptation to talk about 2024. No, no, no. 2022 is not over. No contender should announce for 2024 until we get through December 6th,” Outnumbered co-host Harris Faulkner said. “Every Republican energy needs to go to grinding the Biden agenda to a halt. Does that include Trump?”
“I think he needs to put it on pause, absolutely. He will make his own decision,” McEnany added.
Meanwhile, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who looks set to lose her House race to Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, criticized the state’s new “ranked-choice” voting system she said is designed to help Democrats. Peltola has only served since September.
“’Ranked choice voting’ — approved by referendum in Alaska in 2020 and first applied in 2022 — removes the standard voting protocol of an individual voter selecting one candidate on a ballot. Instead, voters using ranked choice voting assign a numerical rank to multiple candidates rather than voting for one preferred candidate,” Breitbart News explained.
That gives Democrats in red states a huge advantage, Palin argued in October.
“This is what’s going to elect Democrats and destroy our country before we even know it,” she said. “I am just sounding that alarm that it’s this bad.”
“I don’t want this to happen to any other electorate, in any city, in any state,” the former governor said. “Alaska is kind of this test case right now where we have elements of a perfect bad storm. We have lax voter-ID laws. We have a long election cycle where mail-in ballots can be mailed in for — gosh — it seems like months, if not many weeks.”
“It’s not winner-take-all,” she continued. “You rank the candidates. … Then a process of elimination via an algorithm in a computer takes votes and distributes it to other candidates if the person that you did choose as your number-one pick didn’t end up on top.”
“This was written for Lisa Murkowski — and she’s a RINO — to keep her in the U.S. Senate because she can’t run and win as a normal Republican in Alaska because people figured her out. It was her attorney who wrote this thing,” Palin added.