Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola are backing each other’s re-election bids

Mary Peltola

Mary Peltola Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Late. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was asked Friday if she will vote for Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) in the November election, which puts her first on the state’s new ranked-choice ballot, and Murkowski hesitated and said yes. , muttering, “I’m going to be in so much trouble,” Washington Post reports. A “reporter from a national newspaper” asked Murkowski why a Republican senator would praise a Democratic congresswoman, Anchorage Daily News reports, and Murkowski smiled and said, “You can tell she’s a DC reporter.”

“In Alaska, I think it’s still different. Mary is a friend,” Murkowski said. “We’ve been friends for 25 years, and the fact that we’re Republicans and Democrats has never interfered with that friendship.” Peltola, who won a special election to unseat the late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) in office and running for a full term, reciprocated Murkowski’s de facto endorsement on Monday: “I’m voting for her, so we’re self-steven.”

Murkowski and Peltola are from different political parties, but they are both facing candidates backed by former President Donald Trump in a state Trump won by 10 percentage points, Axios notes. Peltola, the first Alaska Native elected to Congress, is running again against former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and Republican Nick Begich III, while both Trump and the Alaska Republican Party have endorsed Murkowski challenger Kelly Tshibaka.

Murkowski and Peltola are “both running as abortion rights moderates who are independent consensus builders focused on Alaska’s needs,” and polls show them much more popular than their rivals — Young’s family has endorsed Peltola, and even Palin says she loves her , that Post reports.

Peltola and Murkowski also both have enthusiastic support from Alaska Natives, including unanimous endorsements from the Alaska Federation of Natives, the largest organization representing Alaska tribes, and other Alaska Native organizations.

Alaska Natives make up about 15 percent of the state’s population and half of its rural residents, and they usually vote at lower rates than urban Alaskans. “But Mary Peltola is a total game changer, and that’s good for Murkowski,” said Ivan Moore, an Alaska Survey Research pollster. Post.

About 58 percent of Alaska’s 600,000 voters are also independent. Republicans are blaming Peltola’s surprise win on the state’s new ranked-choice election system, and there is some truth to that, Political reports. But her win — or, more specifically, Palin’s loss — has also “revealed something alarming to Republicans about the limitations of a MAGA personality’s appeal in the post-Donald Trump presidency — not just in Alaska, but in the Lower 48 as well.”

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