Palin loses to Democrat Peltola in Alaska comeback attempt

Former US vice-presidential candidate is one of two Republicans defeated in vote for House of Representatives seat

Former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has lost to incumbent Representative Mary Peltola of Alaska following this month’s midterm elections.

Ms Peltola, a Democrat first elected in August, was re-elected to a full two-year term on Wednesday, beating Ms Palin and businessman Nick Begich, both Republicans.

Ms Peltola came out on top after Alaska finished tabulating all ballots in a publicly broadcast session using its new “ranked choice” system, which allows voters to list candidates in order of preference.

In each round of counting, the candidate with the lowest share of votes is eliminated and the ballots which ranked them first are then redistributed. The candidate with a majority of votes after all ballots have been counted wins.


Ms Peltola would have won even under the old system, as she had a significant plurality against Ms Palin and Nr Begich from the first count.

Ms Palin, a former governor, is a polarising figure within the party, as her vice presidential run in 2008 was a precursor to the US Tea Party era of politics and helped pave the way for Donald Trump to win the White House.

After Ms Peltola’s win in a special election in August against the same two candidates, both Ms Palin and Mr Begich pressed each other to drop out and give the remaining Republican a better chance at beating the Democrat.

But each refused, insisting their strain of conservatism would be more popular with Alaskan voters. The state has one of the highest proportions of independent voters in the country.

Ms Peltola, the first Alaska Native elected to Congress, was endorsed by the state’s longtime US senator, Lisa Murkowski, a moderate Republican, as well as the staff of Republican former U.S. Representative Don Young, Ms Peltola’s predecessor. – Reuters