Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) outraised her pro-Trump Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the last three months as House Republicans who continue to publicly condemn Trump are raising impressive sums despite being alienated from their party.
Murkowski brought in over $1.1 million between April 1 and June 30 and has more than $2.3 million cash on hand, according to a Federal Election Commission filing posted on Thursday.
Murkowski, a moderate who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial in February, has not yet said whether she will run for a fifth term but dismissed Tshibaka last month as “someone with a pulse.”
Tshibaka, the former Alaska Commissioner of Administration, has raised $750,000 since launching her campaign on March 29 – which includes $215,000 she raised at the end of March – her campaign said earlier this week.
The sums, relatively large for House members and senators from small states, make all three Republicans well-positioned to put up a fight as Trump allies seek to dislodge them.
Forbes has reached out to Murkowski’s and Tshibaka’s campaigns for comment.
Tshibaka, who has echoed Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, has been endorsed by Trump and the Alaska Republican Party, which censured Murkowski in March for her impeachment vote. Trump’s animosity toward Murkowski long predates his second impeachment trial, however; he vowed last June to personally campaign for any challenger to Murkowski after she said she was “struggling” with whether to vote for his reelection.
“Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski,” Trump said in June, adding – in a line Murkowski would later reference to ding Tshibaka – “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”
39%. That’s the share of the vote garnered by Tshibaka in a Change Research poll released last month, with Murkowski getting only 19%. The poll had Al Gross, who ran for Senate as a Democrat-backed independent last year and is weighing another run, winning 25% of the vote.
What To Watch For
Murkowski has won difficult elections against conservative Republicans in the past, including an upset victory in 2010 as a write-in candidate against a Tea Party Republican who beat her in the primary. This year she may also benefit from Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system. But loyalty for Trump runs deeper than it did for the Tea Party in 2010, and Murkowski could be in for the fight of her political life.