Published August 18, 2022
Murkowski has long vexed Alaska’s conservatives. The longtime moderate was a surprise loser in Alaska’s 2010 GOP primary, but she managed to win reelection that year as a write-in candidate. She also won her 2016 race by garnering many votes from Hillary Clinton voters.
Her vote to impeach Donald Trump sealed the deal with most Alaska Republicans. Trump quickly endorsed political neophyte Kelly Tshibaka, who ran as a down-the-line, pro-Trump conservative. If Alaska were a normal state, Murkowski would have been clobbered in the GOP primary as badly as Cheney, or worse.
But Alaska is not a normal state. Its unique voting system has given her a shot at winning again.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.
Image from US Senate in the Public Domain