United States Senate election in Alabama, 2008

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United States Senate election in Alabama, 2008
← 2002 November 4, 2008 2014 →
  Jeff Sessions official portrait.jpg Vivian Figures.jpg
Nominee Jeff Sessions Vivian Davis Figures
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,305,383 752,391
Percentage 63.36% 36.52%

Alabama Senate Election Results by County, 2008.svg
County Results

Senator before election

Jeff Sessions

Elected Senator

Jeff Sessions

The 2008 United States Senate election in Alabama was held on November 4, 2008 to elect one of Alabama's members to the United States Senate. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions won re-election to a third term.


Since 1980, Alabama voters have increasingly voted for Republican candidates at the Federal level, especially in Presidential elections. By contrast, Democratic candidates have been elected to many state-level offices and, until 2010, comprised a longstanding majority in the Alabama Legislature; see Dixiecrat.

In 2004, George W. Bush won Alabama's nine electoral votes by a margin of 25 percentage points with 62.5% of the vote. The eleven counties that voted Democratic are part of the Black Belt counties, where African Americans are the majority racial group.

On January 10, 2007, Rep. Artur Davis announced that he would not run for the seat.[1] Despite voting heavily for George W. Bush in 2004, Alabama still had a strong Democratic presence in 2008, and Democrats controlled majorities in both chambers in the Alabama Legislature. Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Ron Sparks appeared to be preparing for a run, but on June 12, 2007, he announced that he would not seek the Senate seat, in order to avoid a primary battle with State Senator Vivian Davis Figures.[2]

Primary elections were held on June 3.[3]

Republican primary[edit]

Sessions' approval rating was 56% in December 2007.[4]



Republican primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Sessions 199,690 92.27%
Republican Earl Mack Gavin 16,718 7.73%
Total votes 216,408 100.00%

Democratic primary[edit]



Democratic primary results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Vivian Davis Figures 112,074 63.72%
Democratic Johnny Swanson 38,757 22.03%
Democratic Mark Townsend 25,058 14.25%
Total votes 175,889 100.00%

General election[edit]



Poll results showed Sessions with an exceptionally comfortable lead, which was verified by the election results. CQ Politics rated this race as 'Republican Favored'.[9] The Cook Political Report considered it 'Solid Republican'.[10] The Rothenberg Political Report considered it a 'Safe Republican'.[11]


Poll Source Dates administered Figures (D) Sessions (R)
Survey USA October 27, 2008 - October 28, 2008 32% 65%
Survey USA October 8, 2008 - October 9, 2008 33% 64%
Survey USA September 16, 2008 - September 17, 2008 31% 66%
Rasmussen Reports July 31, 2008 31% 58%
Rasmussen Reports June 30, 2008 34% 58%
Rasmussen Reports May 27, 2008 29% 62%
Rasmussen Reports April 2, 2008 36% 57%
Rasmussen Reports November 14, 2007 30% 62%
SurveyUSA August 25–27, 2007 37% 59%


United States Senate election in Alabama, 2008[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Sessions (incumbent) 1,305,383 63.36%
Democratic Vivian Figures 752,391 36.52%
Independent Write-in candidates 2,417 0.12%
Invalid or blank votes
Total votes 2,060,191 100.00%
Voter turnout N/A%
Republican hold


External links[edit]

See also[edit]