Connecting Alaska to the World And the World to Alaska
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Interior Republicans give Haley 13% at first PPP in eight years

Voters line up for the Republican Presidential Preference Poll for six Interior House Districts.
Voters line up for the Republican Presidential Preference Poll for six Interior House Districts.

Statewide results in the Republican Presidential Preference Poll have all 29 delegates going to Donald Trump.

With a line out the door in the first hour, Richard Eide (EYED) was welcoming people at the front doors to the Carlson Center.

“I did phone calling, you know, 45 people on a list, and I did not get a very positive response. And so, my guess was, oh, I'll be lucky if we have 500 people. We had about 60 people an hour before start, there's going to be 2, 000 people, not 500.”

He feared that some voters would think the results were foretold, and would not show.

 Well, nothing's a done deal.”

Voter Nello Cooper, who said he supported Donald Trump, thought his vote would make a difference.

“You know, you still have Nikki Haley still running, so it's not done,” Cooper said.

By the end of polling at 8:00 p.m., 1775 people had voted.

Districts 31 through 36 all came to this one spot to vote, so it’s more likely that folks on the road system made it in to Fairbanks, and folks in the giant U-shaped Yukon River District 36 may not have made it.

“It’s an honor to be here.”

Jo Woodward got to the arena before polling opened and was one of the first votes of the day.

“It's an honor and it's a privilege. Especially for a woman.  The League of Women Voters will vouch for that too. I'm sure they would,” Woodward said.

Results in the Interior districts were similar to statewide reports, but Haley did clear 13 percent in the six districts: 1533 people voted for Trump and 231 for Nikki Haley. There were about 6 votes for other candidates.

Volunteer Adam Nash, explained about the voter registration station, where folks could change their voter registration on the spot.

It has been eight years since Alaska Republicans had a chance for a Presidential Preference Poll. In 2019, the State Central Committee issued a statement saying “that conducting a PPP would serve no useful purpose” because they already had an incumbent to endorse. Some, like Tom Lomel and Don Gowey, came to show the party the PPP process is important to individual Republicans.

Tom Lomel: “ Yeah, yeah, people are  enjoying the, uh, being able to voice their opinion.”

Don Gowey: “If you don’t come, you don’t make a difference. You make almost as much difference if you vote Independent.”

But for others, like Pat Nolan, it was just another chance to participate.

“I just want, good leadership back in office and to make Russia and these other countries a good trading partner rather than being at war with them,” Nolan said.

Same with Alex Burgess, who thought it didn’t matter which Republican he chose, as long as he voted. He just turned 18 and was hoping to vote for the first time…for Ron DeSantis.

“And so, when he bailed out, I was like, aw man, I lost it. And so, I was doing my research beforehand, just looking to outline the different ones that you're looking at here -- is Trump and Haley, like, that's what we're all here to vote for,” Burgess said.

Alaska has 29 delegates to send to the national convention in Milwaukee in July.

Voters jam the entry to the polling by district.
Voters jam the entry to the polling by district.

Robyne began her career in public media news at KUAC, coiling cables in the TV studio and loading reel-to-reel tape machines for the radio station.