I hope Mitch McConnell and other GOP Senators read Henry Olsen’s new Washington Post column. As regular readers of his columns know, Olsen is no RINO. (See, for example, his GOP-promoting column of August 15.) What’s distinctive and important about Olsen’s latest piece is that he makes the argument that electoral reform along the lines of Alaska’s new RCV system would help McConnell and the GOP become the majority leader and party, respectively, in the Senate. It would do this by avoiding binary choices in November between an MAGA-extreme GOP nominee and a conventional Democrat, where the Democrat is more likely to win; instead, opening up the November competition to a non-extreme Republican (like Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski), along with the Trump-endorsed MAGA candidate and the conventional Democrat, increases the chances of a GOP winner in November. This not only gives McConnell a greater chance of the Senate having non-MAGA Republicans more like him, it also means it more likely that the Senate will have Republican members period, appealing to McConnell’s self- and partisan- interest of becoming Majority Leader again.
Here’s how Olsen puts the point, using Arizona as an example–and although he mentions specifically the state’s gubernatorial race, the point applies to the state’s Senate race as well, where MAGA candidate Blake Masters might lose to Democrat Mark Kelly, but a more moderate Republican, who would be among the top 4 finishers under Alaska’s new system might have a better chance:
“The forced choice between extremes in other states is the only reason Trump-backed Republicans such as Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake have a prayer in the general election. Many Republicans who backed Lake’s erstwhile opponent, Karrin Taylor Robson, will hold their noses and vote for the crude demagogue to avoid electing the Democrat. Robson would still be on the ballot under Alaska’s system — and could have defeated Lake when votes for other GOP candidates or independents, who don’t normally vote in primaries, decide whom they like best.”Continue reading Henry Olsen on Alaska’s RCV system