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Is Sarah Palin Coasting on Trump Endorsement

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The Fox News Sunday panel openly pondered whether former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) was coasting on her celebrity status and endorsement from former President Donald Trump in her congressional campaign.

In a segment reviewing some of the key midterm races in Alaska, anchor Gillian Turner introduced a segment with Jonathan Hunt reporting from Anchorage.

In 2016, Trump won Alaska 51% to Hillary Clinton’s 37%. That lead narrowed slightly in 2020, with Trump winning the state over Joe Biden 53% to 43%.

“Alaska voters will also have to decide if they want another Trump-backed candidate to represent them in the House of Representatives,” narrated Hunt, who noted that Alaska was “one of the most fiercely independent states in the nation.”

Despite Alaska’s large geographic size, the state’s population still only grants them one congressional seat, and it has been vacant since Rep. Don Young (R-AK) died in March. Young was the longest-serving Republican in Congress, first elected in a 1973 special election after losing the 1972 general election to the incumbent Rep. Nick Begich (D-AK), who had disappeared when his plane went missing in October 1972. Begich was declared dead and Young won the special election held in March 1973.

Palin launched her campaign on April 1, and is one of three candidates remaining in the special election to fill Young’s seat, with the initial field of 50 winnowed down to Palin and fellow Republican Nick Begich III (Nick Begich’s grandson) and Democrat former Alaska State Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola. Trump endorsed Palin on April 3.

“Sarah Palin’s been keeping a low profile, shall we say, ahead of Tuesday,” said Turner as she brought on the panel. “Only doing a couple of public events. Is she counting on her Trump endorsement and maybe her celebrity to carry her across the finish line, or is she really kind of banking on her campaign kind of fizzling out?”

“I think she has universal name recognition,” said USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page. “People from Alaska and across the country know who Sarah Palin is.”

Alaska’s move to ranked-choice voting added an additional hurdle for Palin, Page noted, and otherwise the former governor “might very well be in a position to win this special election on Tuesday.”

“But now, unless she can get a majority of the vote, it goes into another round,” she continued, and her “hard core of support” may not be “enough to get her over the finish line.”

“We will see if there is a second act in American politics for Sarah Palin,” Page concluded.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver had expressed skepticism about Palin’s attempted political comeback shortly after she announced she was running, noting the challenges she would face from ranked-choice voting after the field narrowed and poor favorability ratings in the state stemming from her 2009 resignation before the end of her term as governor.

Watch the video above, via Fox News.

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