Sarah Palin’s future steps after losing the Alaska House election

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Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Sarah Palin talks with reporters near the corner of Seward Highway and Northern Lights Boulevard on U.S. election night, in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. November 8, 2022. REUTERS/Kerry Tasker

Alaska’s Juneau (AP) — Over ten years after her resignation as governor, Republican Sarah Palin returned to Alaskan politics in an effort to reclaim the U.S. House seat for the state. She had several advantages, including unmatched name recognition, the support of the previous president in a state that he won twice, and an unmatched capacity to get national media attention.

She ran what critics perceived as a lacklustre campaign against a Republican backed by state party leaders and a breakout Democrat who positioned herself as an everyday Alaskan and ran on a platform of “fish, family, and freedom,” but she struggled to connect with voters, some of whom were turned off by her resignation in 2009.
For the House seat that Republican Don Young had held for 49 years prior to his passing in March, Palin lost both the special election in August to choose the person who would fill the balance of his term and the regular election on November 8 to elect a representative to a full two-year term. Election results from November 8 were released on Wednesday. Mary Peltola, a Democrat and Yup’ik, won both ranked-choice votes. With her victory in the special election, she became the first Alaska Native to hold office in Congress.

The argument between Palin and Republican Nick Begich, who portrayed the former governor as a quitter and self-promoter, was ignored by Peltola, a former state politician. Begich, who entered the campaign last autumn, months before Palin, and comes from a prominent Democratic family, was allegedly being used as a “plant” to steal votes from Palin, according to Palin. Nevertheless, in an effort to help the GOP win back the seat this month, the two pushed for a “rank the red” campaign. In the general election, there was a Libertarian candidate who fared poorly.

According to Jim Lottsfeldt, a political strategist connected to a super PAC that backed Peltola, the contests seemed to be “easy layups” for the GOP.

He claimed that Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential contender, had the potential to “run away” with them but lacked concentration. He listed Palin’s excursions outside of Alaska—including one to New York only days before the general election—as mistakes, as well as her “goofy” domestic events, such one hosted by a political action committee that drew a small crowd and featured a James Brown tribute artist.

The once conservative phenomenon now becomes “kind of old news,” according to Lottsfeldt, as a result of the defeats.
Palin “has many of the qualities that President Trump had before President Trump came up,” according to Republican strategist Brad Todd. There are now a lot of President Trump mimics. For someone like Palin, who has “a lot more competition in her lane than she did 12, 14 years ago,” he claimed it presents a difficulty.

One issue, which President Trump will also face, is that you have to triumph if you’re going to act as a type of mercenary deployed to fight in important conflicts, Todd added.

However, he claimed that Palin is accustomed to using the “anti-elite lingo” prevalent in the Republican party and that two election defeats won’t “stop her from being a very strong surrogate for some people if she wants to.”

Since the election, Palin has vowed to support a campaign to overturn a system Alaskans voted in 2020 that eliminated party primaries in favour of open primaries and introduced ranked-choice voting in general elections. The first elections under the new system, which Palin railed against even before the first ballot was cast, were held this year.

Palin has a “big audience,” according to Art Mathias, a proponent of the repeal, and will be “invaluable” in advancing the cause.

When asked what she would be doing in two years if she lost the election, Palin stated to reporters on Election Day, “My heart is in service to Alaskans.” Additionally, she stated that she wanted to discuss with Congress members what she might do, even if she were not in a position of authority, “to assist guarantee that Americans can trust what’s going on in government.”

She made similar remarks in 2009 when she announced her resignation as governor. Public records requests and ethical concerns, according to Palin, became distractions and were the reason she decided to resign.

Palin, a former mayor of her hometown Wasilla, gained a name for herself in conservative politics when she first entered the national spotlight in 2008. She published books, travelled the country giving speeches, participated in reality TV shows, worked as a Fox News commentator for a while, and started a political action committee that has since folded.

Palin made news this year with a failed lawsuit against The New York Times, even though she mainly kept out of politics in Alaska after leaving the governor’s office. Palin was a strong early backer of Trump’s 2016 campaign.

She rebuffed criticism that she had left Alaska in a June interview, claiming that she lived there, raised her children locally, and was “so Alaskan” she had just struck a moose while driving.
Through the website Cameo, where users may pay for personalised greetings from famous individuals, Palin has begun creating films. Hers have a $199 price tag.

While she and Peltola were friendly, Palin argued that the ranked voting system had “produced the travesty of sending a Democrat to Congress to represent Alaska, one of the reddest states in the country.” Palin revived her 2008 campaign slogan, “Drill, baby, drill,” during the House race by calling for increased oil production.

In the House special primary in June, there were 48 candidates, including Andrew Halcro, a former Republican state senator who ran for governor against Palin. Halcro said he doesn’t believe Palin “truly comprehended and appreciated the vast proportion of people that just don’t like her.” He noted that Palin didn’t try to win them over or win over Begich backers.

Following the Libertarian, Begich was the second candidate to be defeated in the main election. Just over 43,000 of Begich’s 64,392 votes were moved to Palin through the ranked choice voting tabulation process, while over 21,500 of his supporters did not select a second option or cast their vote for Peltola, who won with 55% of the vote.

Halcro, though, asserted that he does not see Palin leaving the stage.

“My concern is this: When have losers like Palin or Trump ever walked away? He remarked, “They’ve just cranked up the rhetoric.

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