Lisa Murkowski and Sarah Palin Survive Primary Battles, but a Democrat Breaks Through

Two of the most prominent women in Alaskan Republican politics — Senator Lisa Murkowski and Sarah Palin — appeared to be on divergent paths early Wednesday following the state’s special election and primary.

Ms. Murkowski, 65, spurned by former President Donald J. Trump, advanced to the general election in November in the Senate race, according to The Associated Press. Ms. Palin, 58, who had Mr. Trump’s backing, also advanced in the fall for an open House seat but was trailing her Democratic opponent.

Both races captured the fierce division among Republicans across the country and gave a glimpse into the independent and libertarian streak unique to Alaskan politics. 

They also underscored the surprising sway of Democrats in what has been a reliably red state, as well as the power of Native voters, a sizable electorate that does not predictably break for either party.

The support of Native voters was key to the strong showings of both Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Palin’s main Democratic rival, Mary Peltola, a former state lawmaker who is Yup’ik and who would become the first Alaska Native in Congress if elected. 

More than 15 percent of Alaska’s population identifies as Indigenous.

Still, final official results in the elections could take days and even weeks, as election officials in Alaska continue to collect and count mail-in ballots.

Still, final official results in the elections could take days and even weeks, as election officials in Alaska continue to collect and count mail-in ballots.