The Alaska Survey Research firm, headed by long time local pollster Ivan Moore, released their new special election US House study featuring 48 candidates. The survey (5/6-9; 605 AK-AL likely special election voters; online) finds former Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential Republican nominee Sarah Palin leading the huge field with 19%, followed closely by officially endorsed Republican Party candidate Nick Begich, III at 16%, with Independent and former 2020 Democratic US Senate nominee Al Gross and North Pole City Councilman Santa Claus (the former Thomas O’Connor) capturing the third and fourth qualifying positions with 13 and 6%, respectively.
Under the new Alaska election law, the top four finishers from the jungle primary, in this case scheduled for June 11th, will advance to the August 16th special general election. If no one receives majority support among the finishing four in the succeeding vote, the Ranked Choice Voting System takes effect. It is here where Ms. Palin may find trouble. Under this configuration, ASR projects that Mr. Claus would be first eliminated, then Ms Palin in the next round. A Begich-Gross final round would favor Mr. Begich at 53-47%.
Nick Begich, III is the grandson of former US Rep. Nick Begich (D), who died in a plane crash before the 1972 election. His uncle is former US Sen. Mark Begich (D). Nick Begich, III, however, is a Republican. ASR tested four different iterations with four separate fourth place contenders, and in each scenario Mr. Begich ultimately wins the seat.
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