Palin effect: Republicans she opposed in Alaska won

Anchorage Daily NewsNovember 6, 2008 

While a Democratic wave swept the rest of the nation, not even FBI investigations could keep Alaska's Republican Congressional delegation from holding leads the day after the election.

Big support from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough gave Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who a jury found guilty of seven felonies last week, a narrow edge over Democrat Mark Begich. Stevens is appealing the verdict.

There are still more than 55,000 votes to be counted in the race, and the outcome won't be known until at least Nov. 14.

Alaska Rep. Don Young, under federal investigation, appeared victorious in his race for re-election, although Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz still won't concede defeat.

Alaska Democrats said this was going to be their year, but the results are far different from what pollsters predicted.

Some strategists suggested a "Palin effect," where support for the Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, helped Stevens and Young. That's ironic, given Alaska Gov. Palin's backing of Young's opponent in the Republican primary and her call for Stevens to resign from office.

Palin is from Wasilla, in what turned out to be Stevens' stronghold of the Mat-Su area.

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