You Heard It Here First: AK Senator Lisa Murkowski Is Toast

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Another RINO is being targeted for takedown. While Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski may have “decided she wants a political future,” her state party has decided that no longer includes being the senior senator from Alaska.

The Hill reports:

The Alaska Republican Party has vowed to recruit a primary challenger against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), a month after she voted to convict former President Trump of inciting an insurrection at the United States Capitol.

In a vote Saturday, the state Republican Party passed a resolution censuring Murkowski for her vote, and for several previous votes she had cast that angered state Republicans.

Hmmm… brings to mind a tweet a few years ago by former Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin:

The Hill has poo-pooed and dismissed this, maligning Palin on only serving one term as governor. Typical Beltway; they fail to understand that Palin has always, and still does have the support of the grassroots.

The wheels are turning, so stay tuned.

“There’s a number of issues that the party has had with Sen. Murkowski for the last several years which really culminated in the conviction vote of former President Trump,” said Kris Warren, the author of the resolution and head of a local Republican Party group in Anchorage.

Warren said he was upset with Murkowski over past votes to preserve the Affordable Care Act and against an amendment to the most recent coronavirus relief package that would have banned trans women from competing in sports. He took issue with her decision to vote present on the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and her support for Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), President Biden’s choice to lead the Interior Department.

Warren has obviously taken the temperature of the Alaska electorate, and its as arctic as the local landscape when it comes to Murkowski.

In terms of her colleagues, Wyoming Senator John Barasso is in Murkowski’s corner, and when the Alaska GOP was threatening to censure her, he appeared on Meet the Press to express that he is pulling for her. But does that really mean anything?

“I want to always make sure we nominate somebody who can win in November,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told NBC’s Chuck Todd during “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Lisa Murkowski knows Alaska better than anybody, and she’s an incredible fighter for American energy. She hasn’t made an announcement if she’s even going to run again. If she does, I’m going to support her.”

Barrasso was also on Team Liz Cheney. The Wyoming Representative is also being targeted by the America First adherents for removal from her seat for her Impeachment vote.

Murkowski has never been a beloved figure in Alaska politics, and has always been on shaky ground politically. When her corrupt father, then-Senator Frank Murkowski became Governor, he appointed his daughter to his seat. This did not sit well with the Alaska electorate. In 2010, she lost her primary to Libertarian candidate Joe Miller, but won her second term with a massive cash infusion by the national GOP, and by becoming a write-in candidate. In 2016 she squared off with Miller again, receiving 44 percent of the vote to Miller’s 29 percent. Less than 50 percent is not a resounding vote of confidence. More like, “stick to the devil you know”.

With Trump’s influence, the Alaska GOP is feeling fresh fire, and that fire may continue to spread nationally. Murkowski has too often lacked any consistent commitment on issues, unless it is saving her hide.  She likes to come off as equitable, without appearing partisan. Murkowski tries to split the baby, but only manages to end up bloodied in the effort.

As my colleague Bonchie wrote about Murkowski’s stance (or lack thereof) during the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings:

Enough is enough. It’s one thing to be a free thinker on some topics. It’s another to so thoroughly and consistently oppose the interests of your own voters, including trying to throw something as history altering as the Supreme Court to the will of Democrats (John Roberts is essentially a liberal justice at this point). In this case, it’s Republicans who keep putting Murkowski in her position of power. They should rethink that proposition the next time around.

It will all depends on where the National GOP stands in two years. However, if the America First crowd has its way, Lisa Murkowski is definitely toast.