Breaking down the high-stakes elections in Wyoming and Alaska

FiveThirtyEight senior elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich explains why the highly anticipated races involving Rep. Liz Cheney and Sen. Lisa Murkowski may be overhyped.
2:33 | 08/16/22

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Transcript for Breaking down the high-stakes elections in Wyoming and Alaska
- Former President Trump's influence is being put to its biggest test yet today in primary elections. A Wyoming Congresswoman, Liz Cheney, is one of few Republican lawmakers who have spoken out against Trump's false claims about the 2020 election. And she's vowing to fight on, even if she loses today. Meanwhile, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was one of just seven senators who voted to convict Trump in his Senate impeachment trial. Now, she faces a primary challenger who's casting doubts on the election results. FiveThirtyEight senior elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich joins me live now for more on this. Nathaniel, you say Liz Cheney and Lisa Murkowski's races, while highly anticipated, are actually pretty boring. Why? - Yeah, that's because I think we know what's going to happen. Liz Cheney is almost certainly going to lose her primary. The latest poll had her losing by 30 points. Now, of course polls can be wrong but probably not 30 points wrong. And in addition, this is just a very pro-Trump state, right? Wyoming gave Trump 70% of the vote in 2020. He's endorsed her challenger, Harriet Hageman. So I really don't think there's gonna be a lot of suspense there. On the flip side, in Alaska, Murkowski is almost certainly going to make it to the general election alongside her pro-Trump Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka. And that's because Alaska actually has a new primary system this year where all candidates of all parties run on the same primary ballot. And Then the top four finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election. So both Murkowski with her base of moderate Republicans and independents and Tshibaka with her base of pro-Trump Republicans look like they have the support to get to November. - And Nathaniel, what other races do you have your eye on? - Yeah, I'm also looking at the special election in Alaska. This is the race that could send Sara Palin to Congress. So this is a three-way race between Palin, who's kind of a Tea Party Conservative Republican, Nick Begich, who's more of a pro-business kind of traditional Republican, and then a Democrat, Mary Peltola. And this race is using ranked-choice voting. So it's very unpredictable. This is a system of elections that has not been tested very often in the United States. And actually, it's the first time Alaska's going to use it. So any of the three candidates could win. And of course, if the Democrat wins, it could be more evidence that Democrats are kind of energized in the wake of Roe v Wade being overturned. We've seen that in other special election results so far this year. - All right, Nathaniel Rakich, we appreciate it. As always, thank you. - Thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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