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Can Alaska Go Blue?

Mary Peltola’s surprise victory in this year’s Midterms has left many wondering whether her performance is part of a larger leftwards political trend in Alaska, and leaves the door open for a potentially unexpected political future in Juneau.


Alaska has never been a place for competitive politics, at least compared to the national stage. Since statehood in 1959, it has stood as a bastion of conservatism in the frigid north, only ever voting for a Democratic candidate on the presidential level for Lyndon B. Johnson against the uber conservative Barry Goldwater in 1964. Since then, it has voted strongly to the right, the margin staying in single digits in the 1968 election before turbo-charging to the right from then on. This is not to mention the fact that it last had a Democratic governor in 2002, and until recently Republican Don Young had held Alaska’s sole congressional seat in the House of Representatives for 49 years. Key word: “recently.” However, the Congressman’s unfortunate passing earlier this year opened up the seat for a potentially competitive race in the 2022 midterms. The results have exceeded the wildest expectations of many pundits and pollsters. First, Democratic candidate Mary Peltola upset former Republican governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a narrow special election victory before winning by nearly double digits in November’s midterm elections. This, combined with Democrats managing to force a split in Alaska’s State House and denying the Alaska GOP an outright majority has prompted whispers that the state is on a subtle — but still evident