Establishment-backed Sen. Murkowski defeats Trump-endorsed Tshibaka

Fox News reports that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has been reelected. 

Murkowski was projected as the winner of the race for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat on Wednesday. She narrowly overcame the challenge of Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

The final vote tally is 113,299 for Murkowski, 111,283 for Tshibaka.

A win?

It is clear that non-establishment Republicans are not happy with the fact that Murkowski will be remaining in Washington D.C.

There are several reasons for this. There is the fact that Murkowski oftentimes sides with Democrats on critical issues. One example is abortion, which Murkowski favors legalizing at the federal level.

There is also the fact that Murkowski is anti-Trump, being one of the only Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following the Jan. 6 Capitol protest.

With all of this in mind, non-establishment Republicans see Murkowski’s victory as more of a win for the Democrats and the D.C. establishment than for Republicans and Americans.

It wasn’t unexpected

Although Murskiowski’s victory will come as a disappointment to many Republicans, it was not unexpected. If anything, it was expected.

This expectation came from the fact that Alaska has decided to turn to rank-choice voting. This is where voters rank candidates according to their preferences, and, once a candidate is eliminated from the running for failure to earn enough votes, that candidate’s votes go to his or her voters’ second choice candidate.

It was expected that after the Democrat candidate Pat Chesbro was eliminated, the majority of his votes would then go to Murkowski, and it appears that this is what happened. It’s no wonder that Murkowski reportedly supported Alaska’s switch to rank-choice voting.

One also cannot overlook the fact that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), through the Senate Leadership Fund, spent $9 million on Murkowski, in the process pulling funding from other key Senate races.

The fact that Tshibaka, despite all of this, managed to almost win says a lot. But, it will be another six years of Murkowski, continuing the run she has been on since 2002, when her father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed her to her U.S. Senate seat.