Voters line up on Tuesday during Alaska’s Republican Presidential Preference Poll. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Voters line up on Tuesday during Alaska’s Republican Presidential Preference Poll. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Former President Donald Trump wins Alaska Republican poll

Juneau voters opt for Trump over Haley by 309-57 vote.

Former President Donald Trump won the Alaska Republican presidential preference poll on Tuesday, according to unofficial party results.

In results posted by the state party, Trump received 9,243 votes, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley received 1,266 and investor Vivek Ramaswamy received 45. In Juneau’s District 3 the vote was 176-33 for Trump over Haley and in District 4 the margin was 133-24, with Ramaswamy receiving no votes.

The Alaska results were part of a big night for the former president in gaining the delegates he needs to be the party’s official nominee, winning in more than a dozen contests across the country. He lost to Haley in only one state, Vermont.

The voting in Alaska was effectively between Trump and Haley, though Ramaswamy’s name was on the ballot because he ended his campaign after the deadline to have it removed had passed.

Alaska will provide 29 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July, with candidates who receive at least 13% of the vote receiving a proportional share of the delegates, according to state party rules. It appears like Haley will fall short of clearing the bar to receive Alaska delegates.

Unlike in the August primary, which will select candidates for state offices and the U.S. House of Representatives, presidential primaries in Alaska are operated by the political parties and not by the state government.

There were 15 polling locations on the road system, as well as locations in Juneau and Ketchikan. A previously announced location in Kodiak did not open.

In Juneau, Republican voters began casting ballots as early as possible Tuesday afternoon.

“It has been steady. It was exciting that we had so many people right at the opening at 3 o’clock, and people seem excited to be voting and performing their civic duty,” said Connie McKenzie, Region 7 chair for the Alaska Republican Party and the lead person at the Juneau polling station.

It’s the first presidential preference poll since 2016. That year, McKenzie said, there were about 650 votes cast by voters within Juneau and another 100 from voters who live outside Juneau but voted here.

At Juneau’s Nugget Mall, a line of voters stretched from a polling place within a disused storefront, across the mall’s concourse, and curled around the front of the Magic Nails Spa, where pedicure patrons watched the proceedings.

“I am just shocked that this early, we’ve got this line,” said Paulette Simpson, one of the organizers.

Forty-five minutes after the polls opened, Simpson had to run out and copy more of the forms used to change voter registration. There was another run — for pens — shortly thereafter.

Alaska’s two major political parties did not share a presidential primary date this year. The Democratic primary is scheduled for April 13.

• James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Andrew Kitchenman has covered state government in Alaska since 2016, serving as the Capitol reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO before joining the Alaska Beacon. Before this, he covered state and local governments on the East Coast – primarily in New Jersey – for more than 15 years. This article originally appeared online at Alaska Beacon, an affiliate of States Newsroom, is an independent, nonpartisan news organization focused on connecting Alaskans to their state government.

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