Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has a habit of disappointing conservatives. She opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, is weak on abortion issues and has been touted as a “pro-choice Republican,” and voted to impeach Donald Trump.
Conservative Review gives Murkowski a Liberty Score of 31%. This makes Murkowski the second most liberal Republican–after Susan Collins of Maine–in the US Senate.
The Alaska State Republican Party censured Murkowski in 2021 for her liberal record and vowed to “recruit a Republican primary challenger to oppose and prohibit Senator Murkowski from being a candidate in any Republican primary to the extent legally permissible.”
Murkowski first entered national politics when she was appointed by her father–Frank Murkowski–to fill the seat he vacated to become Governor of Alaska. Murkowski has served as the US Senator for Alaska since 2002. In 2010, Murkowski was ousted during the Tea-Party wave in the Republican primary by Joe Miller. However, Murkowski ran a write-in campaign and won the election with 39.5% of the vote. Miller received 35.6% of the vote; Democrat Scott McAdams won 23.6% of the vote.
Kelly Tshibaka–former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Agriculture–has mounted a serious campaign against Murkowski. Tshibaka even earned the endorsement of President Trump.
Recent polling conducted by Cygnal states that Tshibaka has a 17%-point lead over Murkowski in first-choice voting–Tshibaka garnering 45.4% to Murkowski’s 28.7%. The same polling shows that 87% of Alaska Republicans have a negative view of Senator Murkowski while 84% of Alaska Republicans–with both “Trump Republicans” and “Traditional Republicans” backing Tshibaka. Tshibaka also leads among men and women.
The poll also finds that a strong majority of undecided voters have an unfavorable opinion of Murkowski.
Under Alaska’s new election law, every candidate–regardless of party–will face off against one another in a jungle primary. The top four finishers of the jungle primary will face off in the November election. The November election will be one of rank-choice voting.
In rank-choice voting, voters will rank each of the four candidates. The candidate who garners 50% plus one will win. To note, Murkowski has never garnered 50% of the vote in a general election throughout her entire career as a US Senator.
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