https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3748428-campaign-report-alaska-election-results-are-finally-almost-here/

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, tracking all things related to the 2022 midterm elections. You can expect this newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as we make sense of this year’s elections and look ahead to 2024.

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Alaska midterm numbers incoming

It may be a holiday week, but that’s not stopping Alaska’s Division of Elections from announcing the unofficial results this evening. The state’s new ranked-choice system has been a complicated and lengthy process this election season.

According to the state’s new system, races where neither candidate reaches the 50 percent mark will see the candidate who finished with the lowest numbers eliminated. The voters who backed that individual then have their votes reallocated to their second choices.

And that’s why incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R ) and Rep. Mary Peltola (D) will likely win their respective contests thanks to the new system. The Hill’s Al Weaver explains why here.

Here’s the current state of play: Murkowski leads Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka by less than 1,700 votes — 43.3 percent to 42.7 percent.

In the House contest, Peltola holds a commanding lead, with 48.7 percent support over Republicans Sarah Palin at 25.8 percent and Nick Begich at 23.4 percent.

Trump allies shed their fear of the former president

One time allies of former President Trump are moving past their fears of him and increasingly criticizing him as the 2024 Republican presidential primary looms.

The Hill’s Brett Samuels details how potential GOP presidential contenders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are not necessarily considering Trump to be a major factor in their decisions on whether to run in 2024.

“Whether it’s testing the waters or taking a first step toward an actual campaign, they have to make clear they’re not going to be deferential to the former president,” said Alex Conant, who worked on Marco Rubio 2016 presidential campaign. “If you’re interested in running for president, a key litmus test for any viable candidate is can you take on Trump.”

We saw this dynamic playing out over the weekend in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering, which featured several potential 2024 contenders. While GOP figures like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were more pointed in their criticism, others like Haley were less direct, instead urging Republicans to “look in the mirror.”

REPUBLICANS IN ARIZONA FILE LAWSUIT OVER ELECTION RESULTS 

Arizona Republican attorney general nominee Abraham Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee have filed a lawsuit claiming that mismanagement by election officials could have impacted the result of the state’s attorney general race.

Hamadeh and the RNC filed the lawsuit against his Democratic opponent Kris Mayes, Arizona Secretary of state and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D) and the recorders and boards of supervisors of each county in the state.

Where it stands: The race between Mayes and Hamadeh is headed to a recount, with Mayes leading Hamadeh by just 510 votes. The Hill’s Jared Gans reports that Hamadeh and the RNC say they are not alleging any “fraud, manipulation or other intentional wrongdoing” that would affect the results of the race.

However, they say that the election was “afflicted with certain errors and inaccuracies” in how some polling places were managed and how some ballots were processed and tabulated.

The development comes as Maricopa County has come under criticism for a logistical issue that took place on Election Day. The county’s officials officials said in a statement the day after Election Day that printer issues affected 17,000 ballots, causing some ballots to not be printed dark enough for tabulators to read them.

The officials said they were investigating the situation but asserted that all ballots would be counted “securely and accurately.”

OP-EDS FROM THE HILL

Trump may not make it to the primaries, by Keith Naughton of Silent Majority Strategies

Democrats’ Christmas in November, by Al Hunt, former executive editor of Bloomberg News

The Republican center could be making a comeback, by John Marks of Confluence International

US democracy just dodged a bullet, by Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute

How to scrap the Electoral College, William S. Beckerof the Presidential Climate Action Project

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Campaign page for the latest news and coverage. See you next week. 

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