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Big upset in Alaska: Democrats defeat Palin, return to the House 50 years later

Mary Peltola becomes the first woman to represent the state in Washington.

Mary Peltola

Mary Peltola / YouTube

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Mary Peltola (D) defeated Sarah Palin (R) at the polls by only a 3% margin (51.5 to 48.5) for Alaska's only seat in the House of Representatives. The Democratic candidate will fill the seat of Don Young, a Republican representative who died in March.

Since 1972, Democrats had not represented Alaska in the House. In this way, Peltola succeeds in ending the Republican hegemony for half a century and becomes the first woman and third Democratic candidate to hold the seat for Alaska:

Thank you to all Alaskans who have put their faith in me as the first woman in Alaska's history to represent our state in the House of Representatives. Tonight, we've shown that we can win as a campaign that is pro-choice, pro-fish, pro-worker, and pro-Alaska.

Peltola and the Republican vote

After winning with 60% of the vote in the first round, Peltola managed to convince 3 out of 10 voters of Nick Begich (Republican eliminated in the first round). In addition, another 20% of those who opted for Begich did not vote in this last election.

With these results, Peltola defeated former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and won the majority in the runoff with a slim 3% margin.