NBC News predicted Wednesday night that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the only Republican woman to ever be nominated for vice president, lost her bid to make a political comeback and represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In less than three months, Palin suffered her second loss in a contest for Alaska’s at-large House seat when she was defeated by Democratic candidate Rep. Mary Peltola.
Because Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system was used to determine the winner, it took weeks to declare the winner.
In a special election for the seat in late August, Peltola defeated Palin and another Republican, Nick Begich. After serving in the position for almost 50 years, Republican Rep. Don Young passed away in March, leaving a vacancy.
Former state representative Peltola was elected to Congress as the first Alaska Native.
However, she was immediately up for a rematch in the election for the full two-year term against Palin and Begich.
In a nonpartisan primary held in June, Peltola came in fourth. None of the three remaining candidates in the special election received more than 50% of the vote by mid-August. The winner was then chosen using a ranked-choice voting system that the state’s voters had approved two years earlier.
After her first defeat, Palin complained, calling the implementation of the ranked-choice method a “mistake.” Begich, however, asserted that “ranked-choice voting proved that a vote for Sarah Palin is actually a support for Mary Peltola.”
At the time, Begich declared that Palin “just doesn’t have enough support among Alaskans to win an election.”
In his 2008 presidential campaign against the Democratic nominee and eventual victor, Barack Obama, and his running mate Joe Biden, who was elected president himself two years prior, the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona chose Palin as his running mate.
Less than a year after losing the presidential election, in July 2009, Palin announced her resignation as governor of Alaska, claiming that ethics complaints against her threatened to paralyse the state.