In Spectator World, Sarah Montalbano explains that despite losing Wednesday’s special election in Alaska’s wonky ranked choice voting system, Sarah Palin will have another chance at winning a seat in Congress in just four months. She writes:
Sarah Palin was defeated by Democrat Mary Peltola on Wednesday in a special election to fill the late Don Young’s seat in the House. She lost by a margin of 3 percent amid Alaska’s first ranked-choice voting election. Ranked-choice voting is when voters get to select their second, third, and so on choices of candidates in a field, rather than choosing just one candidate.
Though left-leaning publications like the New York Times have wasted no time in declaring “defeat for MAGA Republicans,” such a conclusion is premature. Palin’s failure to win four short months in Congress does not necessarily mean conservatism has been repudiated. It mostly reflects the warped mechanics and unintuitive strategies of ranked-choice voting.
For those cheerfully proclaiming a Democratic comeback in the midterms, remember that Peltola will hold office for four short months and spend most of it campaigning. Palin and Begich will have the opportunity to convince more voters before November. Alaska Republicans will have the opportunity to educate their voters on ranked-choice voting strategy and avoid handing the seat to a Democrat. And most importantly, voters in all but two states won’t have to worry about the complex strategy of ranked-choice voting. They will pick the candidates they prefer most — which may not be Democrats.
By Sarah Montalbano
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