Republicans win big election-night margins but many races will be decided by absentee votes next week

The Midtown Mall polling location was packed on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, which marked the first day of early in-person voting for Alaska's general election. (Photo by Matt Buxton/TMS)

(Editor’s note: Pretty much everything is already set in motion at this point, a culmination of months of campaigning and weeks of voting. Take some time to disconnect from it all. Not a lot is going to change ahead of next week’s absentee count.)

Just as we saw with this year’s primary election, conservative voters showed up for in-person election-day voting handing Republicans sizable margins even in traditionally Democratic districts.

With 86.7% of voting precincts reporting this morning, 182,394 votes have been counted to this year’s results. More than 120,000 additional ballots—which have generally been more progressive by voter registration—will not be counted until next Tuesday.

Additional votes can also arrive as long as they were postmarked on election day and received in time by the Division of Elections.

As it currently stands, President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional slate all hold roughly 30-point margins on their Democratic challengers in Alaska. The Republicans would need to get at least a third of uncounted ballots to hold onto their leads.

Also behind are several incumbent Democratic legislators in typically Democratic seats: Reps. Grier Hopkins, Adam Wool, Ivy Spohnholz, Matt Claman, Chris Tuck and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. All are in districts where Democrats have led Republicans in early voting and margins there are large enough that they’re likely to erase those margins next week.

Going into Tuesday, there was optimism that Democrats and Democrat-backed independents may be able to flip some legislative seats from Republicans to Democrats. Much of that optimism has already evaporated after Republicans hopped out to big leads on Tuesday, but there are three races that we think might be competitive if the numbers trend their way:

  • House District 15: Democrat Lyn Franks currently trails Republican David Nelson by 389 votes, 1,022 to 1,422. There are an additional 2,188 votes that won’t be counted until next week with a near even split between Republican ballots (584) and Democratic ballots (524). Franks will have to get about 58% of remaining ballots for a narrow victory.
  • House District 25: Democrat-backed independent Calvin Schrage currently trails Republican Rep. Mel Gillis by 549 votes, 1,963 to 2,794. There are an additional 3,508 ballots remaining to be counted in that race and the numbers advantage would go to the Democrats who’ve cast 895 of those ballots to the 703 cast by Republicans. Schrage needs about 56% of the remaining vote.
  • House District 27: Democrat Liz Snyder trails Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt by a whopping 1,092 votes after election-day voting in what was thought to be one of the most competitive races for the Legislature. Pruitt has 2,926 votes to Snyder’s 1,834. Snyder will need the remaining 3,699 ballots to break hard in her favor even with a strong showing by Democrats, who’ve cast 1,054 ballots to Republicans’ 793. She’ll need 58% of the absentee to go her way to draw the race even.

Conservatives are likely to make at least one pick up with Republican-backed independent Josiah Patkotak holding a over Elizabeth Ferguson though only 56.5% of precincts are currently reporting. The remaining absentee ballots (540) would not be enough to make up Ferguson’s deficit (664).

Hopes for any shakeup in the Alaska Senate appear unlikely now that Fairbanks’ Senate District B where Republican Robert Myers took a 4,000-vote lead on election night over independent Marna Sanford, larger than the number of outstanding absentee ballots.

Ballot Measure 1, which proposes to raise oil taxes, looks headed to defeat, but Ballot Measure 2, which proposes a slate of election reforms aimed at opening up room for non-partisan candidates, has a shot at making up its election-night deficit with absentee votes.

Currently down by 22,876 votes, the measure would need about 56% of the absentee votes to go its way when counted next week.

What we know is left to be counted

DistrictTotal VotesRDUNAOther
Statewide119,50130,77928,34635,62919,5783,7321,320
12,2405376226423446823
21,7065323824852255030
31,9877642935772527128
43,3826848961,1055658736
52,6305157318913986325
62,5778914847233766833
72,6389963827643798529
82,3759622836743229831
92,8651,0554068564138941
103,3911,18748097755714046
113,0321,1254399104477528
123,3731,2544979785268432
133,3871,2115969165278946
144,7631,6778831,24577913444
152,1885845246543117240
163,27364994299752611642
172,9275248868725098842
183,3205011,0391,04159211130
191,9832566816553045528
203,2934781,14991660310636
213,8026491,1541,17665013338
223,7198288831,21561814133
232,6795567178274489432
244,0661,0799381,20767812039
253,5087038951,21055910631
263,8601,0538821,16859313824
273,6997931,0541,07861012436
285,3171,3761,2211,54098413854
293,2401,1575658845049238
303,2291,2434558695339633
314,1279781,0051,19376314741
322,4036605417243757032
334,2184381,5981,18084110948
343,9557171,0771,23875413928
354,2768811,1631,26978913440
362,8027225938634909142
379662442303171323211
38747892812321003015
395088814217585143
405409618617158236

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2 Comments on "Republicans win big election-night margins but many races will be decided by absentee votes next week"

  1. Not to worry, Soros has a cargo plane loaded with “harvested” ballots on the way… Or maybe the Lincoln Project….

  2. The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.

    Joseph Stalin

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