Alaska congressional race draws PredictIt traders, Sarah Palin leads

Posted on: June 12, 2022, 05:09h.

Last update on: June 12, 2022, 05:35h.

Voting ended Saturday in Alaska’s special primary for its only congressional seat in Washington. Early results show Sarah Palin will be one of four candidates running in the August election to fill the seat previously held by the late U.S. Representative Don Young (R).

Santa Claus
Santa Claus, left, seen here in an undated photo with the late U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) in the North Pole City Council Chambers. Claus ran in a primary to take the seat of the former congressman, who died earlier this year. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is currently the leading voter in the primary, with the top four candidates advancing to a runoff in August. Claus is currently in sixth grade. (Image: Santa for AK/Twitter)

Palin was the favorite to win the primary, which drew 48 candidates – including Santa Claus – from all parties. With nearly 109,000 ballots tallied, Palin has 32,371 votes, or 29.8 percent of the vote. She held a 10.5% lead over second place contender Nick Begich III.

Since online trading market PredictIt began selling shares for the primary on May 31, Palin shares have not fallen below 71 cents. The initial vote tally became public Saturday evening, and shares of the former governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee were trading at 99 cents Sunday afternoon.

Winning shareholders receive $1 for each share.

Palin is probably the best vote-getter for the primary, although according to the Anchorage Daily News, the results may not be official for a few weeks, since the primary was held by mail. Ballots postmarked before Saturday would still be counted.

Run-Off Trading Neck and Neck

While Palin was the heavy favorite in the Alaskan primary, the special runoff is a different story.

On Sunday afternoon, Begich, another Republican whose grandfather was a Democratic congressman representing the state 50 years ago, was trading slightly higher at 49 cents a share to Palin’s 48.

This market saw over 428,000 shares traded. That’s more than eight times the size of the primary market. Traders traded more than 13,500 shares on Saturday, according to PredictIt.

Other candidates expected for the second round include independent candidate Al Gross and Democrat Mary Peltola.

Santa Claus needs a miracle to move forward

One candidate who shouldn’t make the final cut is the jolly old man himself, or at least someone who legally changed his name to Santa Claus in 2015.

It turns out that this Santa Claus, according to his campaign website, is a two-term city councilman and the current pro tem mayor of the town of North Pole in Alaska – yes, you read that right. This North Pole is located just southeast of Fairbanks.

Santa Claus is an Independent Socialist, Progressive, and Democrat and “shares many positions with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders,” his campaign website said. “He is a longtime advocate for the health, safety and well-being of children.”

Other positions Claus has taken include endorsing Medicare for all and supporting the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, which seeks to reconcile federal laws with state laws allowing the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes.

While Claus openly campaigned for the congressional seat, he said he would not accept or solicit contributions. There is no indication whether he would accept letters and wish lists from children.

Through the results published on Saturday evening, Claus had collected 4,864 votes, or nearly 4.5%. That puts him in sixth place, and less than 900 votes behind Tara Sweeney, who got 5.3% of the vote.

Peltola, currently in fourth place, had 8,101, or 7.5%, through Saturday night.

PredictIt offers a market on whether Claus would finish in the top four. While the shares he would advance traded as high as 28 cents on Friday, they slumped to a penny on Sunday.

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