2008 United States Senate election in Arkansas

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Mark Pryor, head and shoulders photo portrait with flag, 2006.jpg
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Nominee Mark Pryor Rebekah Kennedy
Party Democratic Green
Popular vote 804,678 207,076
Percentage 79.5% 20.5%

2008 United States Senate election in Arkansas results map by county.svg
County results
Pryor:      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

U.S. senator before election

Mark Pryor

Elected U.S. Senator

Mark Pryor

The 2008 United States Senate election in Arkansas was held on November 4, 2008. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Pryor ran for a second term. No Republican filed to challenge him, and his only opponent was Green Party candidate Rebekah Kennedy. Pryor won re-election with almost 80% of the vote, despite Republican John McCain winning the state by nearly 20 points in the concurrent presidential election.

Kennedy received the highest ever vote share of any Green Party candidate running for U.S. Senate,[1] and the highest for a third party Senate candidate in Arkansas until her record was surpassed by Libertarian candidate Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. in 2020.

As of 2022, this was the last time the Democrats won a U.S. Senate election in Arkansas.




General election


On March 10, the state Republican Party announced it has no plans to field a candidate against Pryor. The only Republican to express interest in the race, health care executive Tom Formicola, decided not to run the weekend before filing began. Formicola lost the GOP primaries for the Senate in 2004 and the United States House of Representatives in 2006. As a result, Pryor was the only Senator in 2008 to face no major-party opposition in a reelection bid.[2]

There had been speculation that former Governor Mike Huckabee would run against Pryor if his presidential bid were unsuccessful, but on March 8, Huckabee said he would not contest the race.[3]

Pryor's sole challenger was Green Party nominee Rebekah Kennedy, who entered the race in April 2007.[4] Kennedy received 206,504 votes (20.54%).[5] This is the highest percentage of the vote for any Green Party candidate running for U.S. Senate ever, and her 206,504 votes is the second most total votes received by a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate after Medea Susan Benjamin's 326,828 votes in the 2000 California Senate race.[1] Kennedy's campaign, in addition to being record breaking for the Green Party, was also the strongest showing of any independent or third party candidate running for the U.S. Senate in 2008.


Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[6] Safe D October 23, 2008
CQ Politics[7] Safe D October 31, 2008
Rothenberg Political Report[8] Safe D November 2, 2008
Real Clear Politics[9] Safe D November 4, 2008


Pryor was polled at 90% in a poll without a challenger in March.[10]


2008 United States Senate election in Arkansas[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark Pryor (incumbent) 804,678 79.53%
Green Rebekah Kennedy 207,076 20.47%
Total votes 1,011,754 100.00%
Democratic hold

See also


  1. ^ a b "A short history of Green Party U.S. Senate races – Green Party Watch". Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "Today's THV - KTHV Little Rock News Article". Todaysthv.com. March 10, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  3. ^ Huckabee says he won't run against Pryor Archived 2008-03-16 at the Wayback Machine, Nasdaq.com
  4. ^ "Kennedy enters race for Pryor's Senate Seat", Daniel Nassaw, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 14, 2007.
  5. ^ "U.S. Senate Statewide Results". Secretary of State of Arkansas. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
  6. ^ "2008 Senate Race ratings for October 23, 2008". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  7. ^ Race Ratings Chart: Senate Archived October 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine CQ Politics
  8. ^ "2008 Senate ratings". Inside Elections. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  9. ^ "2008 RCP Averages & Senate Results". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  10. ^ "Arkansas Polls". Electoral-vote.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "U.S. Senate Statewide Results". Secretary of State of Arkansas. December 2, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.