By DONNA CELIA
We have just experienced the fruits of our first ranked choice vote and it is proof positive that Republicans can, and will, steal defeat from the jaws of victory every time.
There are some die-hard Sarah Palin fans in this state. I am not one of them, but I wasn’t foolish enough to rank Mary Peltola behind Nick Begich, which is what 15,467 Alaskan did. I will call these Alaskans “Never Paliners.” These people aren’t voting pro-life, pro-Trump, or pro-conservative. These people are voting anti-Palin. We need to take this message seriously.
According to Jazmine Ulloa of the New York Times, Palin ranked Peltola #2 on her own ballot. It’s unclear what she actually did but this ought to send a clear message to Alaska Right to Life and any die-hard pro-life voters in Alaska: Palin is not voting pro-life in her own election. Get a clue, folks! She is pro-life in name only. If she meant it when she claimed to be the most pro-life candidate, she wouldn’t have ranked Peltola.
I’m reading the tea leaves here. I don’t think Palin believed she would win. So, why did she subject herself to this humiliation? I propose that it was so that she could ensure Peltola’s victory and boost to her dwindling TV career while she’s at it. If I’m wrong, Palin will step down before the general election in November, and I will write her a personal apology. But if I’m right, then Palin will remain on the ticket and secure Peltola’s long-term placement into Don Young’s seat. If that happens, you’ll hear me crowing from 10 miles away. “Hate to say I told you so!”
Conservative Alaskan voters need to wake up to the reality of that scenario: If Palin remains on the ticket in November, she will guarantee the same turnout that we’ve just experienced here. Let me illustrate for you what would have happened if Palin wasn’t on the special election ticket.
Based on the newly certified election results, let us look first at what happened in Round 1:
Begich lost Round 1, so his votes were redistributed. 27,053 votes went to Palin, and 15,467 votes went to Peltola. The latter group is our “Never Paliners.” These people would have taken Begich, if they could get him, but they would rue the day Palin wins a congressional seat. These people decided our election.
In Round 2, Palin received 86,026 votes. That’s the sum of her original votes, plus the ones she picked up from Begich’s redistributed votes.
In a hypothetical showdown between Begich and Peltola, only, you can assume that all of Begich’s voters will vote for Begich again. And most (if not all) of the people who voted for Palin will vote for Begich. This would mean Begich will end up with:
Palin’s Round 2 votes: 86,026
Begich’s votes that transferred to Peltola: +15,467
This compares to the total Round 1 votes that Peltola received: 75,799. Therefore, in a hypothetical showdown between Begich and Peltola, Peltola will be sent packing. There are two ways we can accomplish this outcome:
- If Sarah Palin steps down.
- If conservative voters treat the November election as if Sarah Palin doesn’t exist.
I believe Palin is both too prideful and too disdainful to her supposed “beloved” Alaska to do right by us. I am betting we will NOT see her step down. After the low point in her TV career, the Pink Bear costume and rapping on The Masked Singer, she needed a boost. Alaska gave her that leg up. She has no real interest in us, our politics, our prosperity, or our livelihoods. She is acting, as always, in her own best interests. After she ensures Peltola’s win in Congress, she’ll add to her family’s coffers with the continuation of her reality TV career—a career that is substantially more lucrative, however humiliating (Pink Bear), than representing Alaskans in Washington.
That leaves us with Option #2 as our only exercisable choice. From this day forth, we conservative voters need to cooperatively coordinate our strategy. We need to unanimously demand that Sarah step down from the General Election ticket (which I predict she won’t do). And then we need to vote only for Nick Begich in the #1 slot. Do whatever you want with your second, third, and fourth place votes, provided you do not rank Peltola.
In essence: Treat our next election as if there are only two candidates. If we can agree to do this, we’ll send Palin’s politically disastrous failures, and Peltola’s brief political success straight into the dustbin of history.
Donna Celia is a mother of two children who lives in Anchorage.