Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is now trailing her GOP challenger Kelly Tshibaka after voting to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection.
Polling from the GOP polling firm Cygnal found that Tshibaka was leading in an all-party primary, taking 33.6 per cent of the vote, compared to Murkowski’s 18.8 per cent.
Al Gross, an independent who was the Democratic nominee for Alaska’s 2020 Senate race, came in third with 17.6 per cent.
Tshibaka, Alaska’s Commissioner of Administration, is viewed favorably by 61 per cent of both Trump voters and Republicans.
Murkowski, on the other hand, is only viewed favorably by 10 per cent of Republicans, the poll found. Another 87 per cent of Republicans have a negative view of the incumbent.
With voters from all parties, Murkowski is viewed favorably by 33 per cent and unfavorably by 63 per cent.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (left) is already losing to a GOP primary challenger after she voted to convict former President Donald Trump (right) of inciting an insurrection
On Monday, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka announced she would seek Murkowski’s Senate seat. Tshibaka is ahead of Murkowski in an all-party primary, beating the incumbent by almost 15 points
Politico Playbook first reported on the polling Monday, but the survey was conducted in late March.
That’s when Tshibaka first jumped in the race.
Bob Lochner, Murkowski’s challenger in 2016, already put his hat in, but wasn’t included in the Cygnal survey.
Trump took aim at Murkowski in March, telling Politico he would ‘not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski.’
‘She represents the state badly and her county even worse,’ Trump said. ‘I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be – in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.’
Murkowski was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the January 6 insurrection during his second impeachment trial.
He has publicly vowed to make them all pay, including listing all of their names during his first big political speech since leaving office, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, last month.
Tshibaka, whose run was first reported by Fox News, said she was running to represent a ‘new generation of Alaska conservatives.’
Her stances include being tough on immigration, pro-Second Amendment and anti-abortion.
Tshibaka is an Alaska native and went to high school in the state before attending Texas A&M University and then Harvard Law School, according to the Anchorage Daily News, who shared a copy of her resume when she was appointed by Alaska’s governor to lead the Department of Administration in January 2019.
Bob Lochner, who ran against Murkowski in 2016, has also said he will run against the Republican senator in the primary next year
She spent nearly 17 years in the Washington, D.C. working for the federal government under the Bush 43, Obama and Trump administrations.
Tshibaka worked for the office of inspector general for the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Director of National Intelligence and the Justice Department.
The Anchorage Daily News also reported that she and her husband Niki are pastors and launched the Lighthouse Fellowship during their time in D.C.
On her campaign website, Tshibaka describes herself as a ‘fighter.’
‘I fought hard to be the first in my family to pursue a college degree and attend law school. I fought to expose waste, fraud and abuse in government, and I’ll bring that same fight to the US Senate where I will always defend Alaska values,’ Tshibaka said.
Murkowski hasn’t officially announced a 2022 re-election bid but she’s fought off Republican challengers before.
In 2010, when former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin backed Murkowski’s Tea Party challenger Joe Miller, Murkowski lost the Republican primary, but still won the general election race by mounting a successful write-in campaign.
Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka launched a Senate run Monday, vying for Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s seat. Tshibaka’s website describes her as a ‘fighter’ who exposed ‘waste, fraud and abuse’ working for nearly 17 years in Washington, D.C.