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Whining About Sarah Palin’s Loss is Not a Plan of Action

Sarah Palin lost her congressional bid last night in the state of Alaska to a progressive Democrat. Does this suggest that Republicans are at risk in November? No. Actually, the GOP increased its share of votes over 2020 for the district. There's no need to worry about the opinion that this indicates that a blue wave is in the works. These ideas are from those who don't know the fundamentals of Alaska's system, or are intentionally deceiving others to gain political advantage.

Most of the blame from the right is on Alaska's ranked-choice voting system. A large number of Republicans either left their second choice unmarked or chose the Democrat for their next option. The bottom line is that Palin was not able to get the majority of votes necessary to prevail.

While most don’t like it, it is the system that is in place. The same point can be made regarding mail-in voting. Republicans need to know how to use it to their advantage or they will continue losing elections they could win.

There are some incorrect assumptions. For instance, the notion that Palin has the right to any Republican second-choice votes and she could have won even without the ranked-choice system. If Republicans would vote for a Democrat or to not include another option in the RCV system, how can anyone think that the same people would have turned out at the polls to cast their votes for Palin in a normal system? Whatever arguments the right-wingers make about it, this is not the way voting is conducted. If Palin didn't appear in a manner that would be acceptable to those voters and did not get their votes, and if she's not successful in forming a majority from the present GOP voter pool in Alaska, she can win.

Why was there such a disagreement over Palin? The reason is quite simple. She's not a very popular person in Alaska. She's not been relevant for more than 10 years. Her private life has been messy, and she's spent more time in New York than in her home state for the past few years. Her campaign for Congress was more like an attempt to get her to the limelight in the wake of an endorsement from Donald Trump than an authentic campaign.

You might feel that these criticisms are unfair. You might think that Palin is great, based on her public image from 2010. However that’s not really relevant since a majority of people in Alaska don't like her. They decide who represents Alaska, and complaining about the outcome of an election isn't an effective way to go about it. If someone performs well at CPAC, it is not a guarantee that they'll be successful in an election in Alaska. 

Here's the key lesson Republicans should learn, or they will continue to lose: Don't run deeply unpopular candidates in unstable electoral environments.

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