Goodbye Surahlah…..

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    So Surahlah Palin (aka Tammy Faye of SNL) just lost a runoff election for Alaska’s Congressional Seat for the remaining term of the late Cong. Don Young. The Democratic winner is a native Alaskan member of the state legislature whose positions are moderate by Democratic standards. Palin had run as a MAGA Republican with the usual stolen election, drain the swamp etc. themes.
    This was the third recent win by a Dem in special elections and another sign that Republicans need to think about moving away from 24×7 Trump grievance campaigns with wingnut candidates like Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Walker in Georgia and run on substantive policy issues with serious candidates. Same for the Dems who have selected some real lefty kooks in several recent primaries.


    premature sadness? I think she is still on the ballot for the next congress


    AAQ: Correct. …she is still on the ballot but reminder that Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system gives an advantage to lesser known candidates like Mary Peltola (who beat Palin in the runoff).
    If the R’s “underperform” in the mid-terms and some of the real crazies supported by Trump lose, you can expect to see DeSantis, Pence et. al. move quickly to challenge Trump for 2024.

    ☕️coffee addict


    You surely know that a special election has a lower turnout than a general election and republicans see what happened here and will try harder that there shouldn’t be a repeat


    Gadolhadorah im not sure what your gloating about.

    Alaska is a very red state which just changed their primary system to a stupid ranked choice voting.
    its a special election with a lower turnout then the general with a new confusing stupid system that ended up with 4 candidates after the primary

    The democrat won in an environment where the GOP candidates got 60% plus of the first level vote and democrat candidate got below 40% that means a full 60+ percent voted GOP as their first choice and the democrat won in a new confusing system where half the people didn’t choose a second candidate.

    essentially just like idiotic progressives rand how someone can win even losing the popular vote because of the electoral college its kind of similar here… (but not really.) proving how when the shoe is on the opposite foot progressives just come out as hypocrites


    Ezra….I’m not sure I understand your point (assuming there is one) nor am I either gloating or really care HOW she lost under Alaska’s new convoluted voting system. The point is she DID lose, fair and square under the new rules. And yes, as CA points out a general election will bring out more voters but that doesn’t automatically translate into a loser like Palin winning the next time around. I sense that there is a small and growing exhaustion among Republican voters with the Trump/MAGA crowd. Its not enough to keep them from winning control of the House in November but probably by a smaller margin that forecast as recently as the past month or two. Also, I’m skeptical they can take the Senate and there is some likelihood that the Dems might pick up one or two seats that could have easily been flipped Red had the Republicans nominated “normal” candidates.

    Amil Zola

    Alaska voted for ranked choice voting. I’m surprised that someone running for office during this special election doesn’t understand how it works or who put it in place.


    Amil > Alaska voted for ranked choice voting.

    Indeed. I don’t think that most voters (me included) understand how such voting will change elections. It is not that simple, as it will change how candidate position themselves, where money goes, etc. And, of course, after you change and something goes wrong, it will be hard to change back.

    So, we should watch carefully the small number of places that use the new system and see whether it will affect voting system to the worst, such as enabling more radical candidates through. I am very much a Perotist following “if it aint broken, do not fix it”. Some may not like certain US policies, but American electoral system is probable the most stable among modern democracies, maybe second to UK that was not pure democracy for a long time though.

    Reb Eliezer

    AAQ, shouldn’t it be I included? It reminds me of the joke where someone ends up at the heavenly gate and asked, who is this? He answers, it is I. He is being retorted back, another English teacher.

    Reb Eliezer

    AAQ, sorry, you were correct as inclusion requires an object, so me is correct whereas thinking would require a subject but we gained a good joke.


    I am no English teacher. I tested google docs: it does not like “My friend and I”, but it has no problems with either Voters, including I, and including me.

    Amil Zola

    I live in an area where some elections are ranked choice. I voted for it. It’s not difficult to understand. It’s too bad that neither you or Sarah can understand it.

    Amil Zola

    AAQ , somehow I thought I replied to you. FWIW some elections here are ranked choice (county commissioners, sheriff). It’s not difficult to understand and is explained in the voters pamphlets and on our local ballots and online in those states/areas that have adopted it. Unfortunately I cannot link you to any sites that have simple explanations of how the process works due to the rules of these forums.


    I am not wondering how ranked choice works, I am wondering how it affects politics.

    Democracy is shaped up by the election rules. American system generally pushes people towards broad coalitions and more moderate candidates, with additional debates within the parties. Israeli system allows 120 members from 30 different parties, allowing for multiple coalition perturbations depending on the issue of the day. It may be that different systems suit different people, or times, better. You just can’t divide Israelis into two camps. Some may be right-wing on religion but socialist on welfare. Others are left-wing on religion but right-wing on arabs, etc.

    So, if this ranking will change who gets elected, I am for caution.


    There really isn’t much in the way of data on rank-choice voting since it has only been used in major city/state elections for the past 2 election cycles. From a purely outcome perspective, it probably favors more moderate candidates who will be the “2nd choice” for members of an opposing party versus a more extreme candidate. Thats what appears to have happened in Alaska it will take several more years to gauge the outcome on any definitive basis.


    I see papers saying that this will promote moderates, except that the papers are pretty naïve (looking one move ahead in a chess game) and promoted by people who mention “a need to fix the system” (aka as progressives). Also, Dems seem to prefer ranked choice more …

    Here is what could happen:
    currently extremists are eliminated (1) in primaries – extreme candidates will lose in the general, and (2) in the finals – 3rd party candidates are not popular because they take away from the major candidate on the same side

    with ranked voting, now multiple candidates will be able to run legitimately, gaining some voters that will go to a major candidate in ranking. So, there will be more and more incentives to have multiple candidates with extreme or very narrow platforms. There will be not just a Jewish candidate for President, but separate Ashkenazi and Sephardi ones! At the end, there will be no unifying candidates left and we will have a choice between 10 extremists … this will not happen in one election, but over time.


    Apparently 20% of 3rd candidate (R) did not mark up anyone as ranked choice, presumably some because they did not like Palin, and some because they did not get how this works.

    Also, were the other R finished second, he would have been more likely to beat the D due to less empty protest votes.

    Australians point out that their system is slightly different:
    – you have to have a 2nd choice. Not sure this will be popular in US where you don’t force people to vote even for the first choice!
    – only one candidate per party is allowed into the finals. This will help for some time, until parties subdivide.

    My suggestion: to use candidate agreements instead of voter rankings, the way Israelis divide partial knesset seats. That is, candidate themselves decide who is most similar to them and gives them the votes he “earned”.


    Gadolhatorah watches SNL?!? I’m not in the least surprised, I’m sure you find CNN to be objective reporting as well!!!


    “I’m sure you find CNN to be objective reporting as well…”

    Everything is relative. Compared to Fox or Newsmax, absolutely “objective”….compared to ABC and CBS, less so. Going forward, it appears that the new ownership of CNN is clearing house of those anchors and commentators they considered too far left. Indeed, several recent interviews and comments strongly critical of Biden (e.g. use of the Marines and red lighting in his speech at Independence hall last week) have outraged liberals accustomed to a fairly positive spin on Biden. Stay tuned.

    And yes, I did watch SNL on occasion 10 years ago when Tammy Faye did a great Sarah Palin and the “cold openings” were really funny. Its gone downhill ever since.

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