One story out of Alaska is the one that I suspect will, unfortunately, haunt Republicans in the primaries, bad candidates that are famous, but not popular. That’s the story in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and at this rate, Republicans will have to work very hard to be able to take the Senate.
The other story is that once again leftists have a huge list of strategic options for reshaping elections and smear campaigns, dirty tricks and biased media are just the most obvious ones. Republicans have been very slow to move on things like mail-in ballots, election weeks, ballot harvesting and secretary of states. Even in the aftermath of 2020 when everyone could see what had happened, there’s still very little focus on secretary of state races and on election propositions and measures.
Ranked choice voting didn’t take center stage in 2020, but it scored a win in Alaska’s House race. It didn’t matter that most voters wanted a Republican candidate.
The Left talks a lot about threats to democracy even though we’re a republic, but ranked-choice voting is the real thing. Ranked choice voting advocates don’t hide the fact that they promote it because it makes it possible for marginal candidates to triumph. Ranked choice voting prolongs election counts, as it did in the New York mayor’s race and Alaska, which provides plenty of opportunities for political shenanigans. It creates confusion during the actual voting, creating opportunities for counters to interpreter voter intent.
As Hans Van Spakovsky at Heritage noted, “In 2018, the first-ever general election for federal office in our nation’s history was decided by ranked choice voting in the Second Congressional District in Maine. Jared Golden (D) was declared the eventual winner—even though incumbent Bruce Poliquin (R) received more votes than Golden in the first round. There were two additional candidates in the race, Tiffany Bond and William Hoar. However, the Maine Secretary of State, Matt Dunlop, “exhausted” or threw out a total of 14,076 ballots of voters who had not ranked all of the candidates.”
Poliquin had sued to try to stop the system. He lost.
“We have detected a pattern. Most of the time, when fundamental transformations to elections are proposed, the people proposing them have two characteristics. First, they think it will help their side win. Second, their ideological perspectives are usually rooted in a transformational extreme: They want to change the rules to manipulate elections outcomes in order to force the public into their distorted vision of a supposedly utopian society.”
Republicans were slow to fight mail-in ballots, DMV voter registration and ballot harvesting. They’ve been slow to fight the emerging threat of ranked-choice voting.
Without a strong pushback, leftists have a clear field for selling voters on propositions with their latest election rigging gimmick. The question is how many elections Republicans have to lose before they learn anything from the experience.