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United States House of Representatives election in Alaska, 2008


United States House of Representatives election in Alaska, 2008

United States House of Representatives election in Alaska, 2008

November 4, 2008

Nominee Don Young Ethan Berkowitz
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 158,939 142,560
Percentage 50.14% 44.97%

Representative At-large before election

Don Young

Elected Representative At-large

Don Young

The 2008 congressional election in Alaska was held on November 4, 2008 to determine who will represent the state of Alaska in the United States House of Representatives. Alaska has one seat in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; whoever is elected will serve in the 111th Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011. The election coincides with the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The primary election was held August 26, 2008.[1]


  • Background 1
  • Candidates 2
    • Alaskan Independence 2.1
    • Democratic 2.2
    • Republican 2.3
  • Polling 3
  • Results 4
    • ADL primary 4.1
    • Republican primary 4.2
    • General election 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Alaska's At-large congressional district covers the entire state, and has been represented by Republican Don Young since 1973. He was challenged by Democratic nominee Ethan Berkowitz and Alaskan Independence candidate Don Wright.

Berkowitz won the Democratic primary against Diane E. Benson and Jake Metcalfe. The Republican primary was so close that Young and Sean Parnell needed to wait for the overseas absentee ballots, which had until September 10, 2008 to arrive and be counted. Young held a narrow lead of 239 votes after counting the other absentee and questioned ballots on September 6, 2008.[2] Final results on September 18 showed Young winning by 304 votes, and Parnell announced that he would not seek a recount.[3]

According to the 9/15-17 Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos, Berkowitz led Young in the General election by a 53%-39% margin, with a ±4% margin of error.[4] After the Primary, CQ Politics changed its forecast to 'Leans Democratic'.[5] The Cook Political Report ranked it 'Republican Toss Up' and The Rothenberg Political Report rated it 'Democrat Favored'.

On November 12, 2008, Young was declared the winner, retaining the seat for his 19th term, despite a strong challenge from Berkowitz. Young was proclaimed winner, getting 50% of the vote compared to Berkowitz's 45%.[6][7]


Alaskan Independence




Source Date Berkowitz (D) Young (R)
Research 2000 May 12-14, 2008 50% 40%
Research 2000 Dec 3-6, 2007 49% 42%


Primary elections were held on August 26, 2008.[9]

ADL primary

The "ADL" ballot contained all of the primary candidates for the Alaska Democratic Party, the Alaskan Independence Party, and Libertarian Party of Alaska.

Alaska "ADL" House of Representatives primary, 2008[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ethan Berkowitz 39,784 53.17%
Democratic Diane Benson 28,347 37.89%
Alaskan Independence Don Wright 6,690 8.94%
Totals 74,821 100.00%

Republican primary

Alaska Republican House of Representatives primary, 2008[10]
Candidate Votes Percentage
Don Young (incumbent) 48,195 45.47%
Sean Parnell 47,891 45.19%
Gabrielle LeDoux 9,901 9.34%
Totals 105,987 100.00%

General election

Alaska's at-large congressional district election, 2008[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Young (incumbent) 158,939 50.14%
Democratic Ethan Berkowitz 142,560 44.97%
Alaskan Independence Don Wright 14,274 4.50%
Independent Write-in candidates 1,205 0.38%
Valid votes 316,978 96.83%
Invalid or blank votes 10,363 3.17%
Totals 327,341 100.00%
Voter turnout 66.03%
Republican hold


  1. ^ Alaska Division of Elections
  2. ^ Sutton, Anne Young's slim lead grows a bit more in Alaska House race Anchorage Daily News, September 6, 2008
  3. ^ Anne Sutton, "No recount in GOP race for Alaska's House seat", Associated Press, September 18, 2008.
  4. ^ AK-Sen, AK-AL: No "Palin bump" for House and Senate races kos, Daily Kos, September 18, 2008
  5. ^ CQ Politics Forecast
  6. ^, Young retains US House seat in Alaska
  7. ^, Young retains US House seat in Alaska
  8. ^ Web site flap prompts Alaska Democrat to give up House race AP, May 7, 2008
  9. ^ GEMS elections results
  10. ^ a b "Official Primary Election Results" (PDF). State of Alaska: Division of Elections. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  11. ^ "Official General Election Results" (PDF). State of Alaska: Division of Elections. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 

External links

  • Race ranking and details from CQ Politics
  • U.S. Congress candidates for Alaska at Project Vote Smart
  • Alaska U.S. House Races from 2008 Race Tracker
  • Campaign contributions for Alaska congressional races from
  • Young (R-i) vs Berkowitz (D) graph of collected poll results from
  • 2008 Election from The Anchorage Daily News newspaper
  • Official campaign websites
    • Don Young for Congress, Republican Incumbent
    • Sean Parnell for Congress. Republican
    • Gabrielle LeDoux for Congress, Republican
    • Diane Benson for Congress, Democratic
    • Ethan Berkowitz for Congress, Democratic
    • Jake Metcalfe for Congress, Democratic
Preceded by
2006 elections
United States House election in Alaska
Succeeded by
2010 elections
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