Tshibaka, Murkowski advance to final round of ranked-choice voting in Alaska Senate race

The State of Alaska Division of Elections will tabulate ranked-choice voting results on Nov. 23.

Published: November 18, 2022 7:07pm

Updated: November 18, 2022 7:23pm

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka will advance to the final round of ranked-choice voting after neither cleared the 50% threshold needed to win the state's Senate seat outright.

The Trump-backed Tshibaka held a narrow lead against Murkowski of 43.28% to 43.11% with 95% of the ballots counted, according to the Associated Press. Alaska uses ranked-choice voting, a process by which voters ranked each candidate on the ballot and their alternate preferences get factored into the final tallies until one candidate crosses 50% support.

The State of Alaska Division of Elections will tabulate ranked-choice voting results on Nov. 23, per the Epoch Times. The race will be one of the last to finish as nearly all midterm election contests have concluded, with the exceptions of a handful of House contests and the Georgia Senate contest, which will end with a December runoff.

Murkowski is seeking a fourth full term in the upper chamber of Congress as she battles Tshibaka's challenge from the right. The incumbent Republican earned the ire of conservatives over her vote to impeachment former President Donald Trump in his second impeach trial.

She also declined to support the Supreme Court nomination of now-Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Murkowski opposed his nomination, but voted "present" to accommodate Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who was absent due to his daughter's wedding. Daines supported Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The Alaska Republican previously lost her party primary during the 2010 cycle, but retained her seat through a write-in campaign.

The next round of ranked-choice voting will consider the preferences of voters who first backed Republican Buzz Kelley and Democrat Patricia Chesbro. Kelley dropped out of the race and endorsed Tshibaka. Many of his votes are expected to go to her. Chesbro supporters, meanwhile, are expected to break for Murkowski, who has worked to win over moderates during the campaign.

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