Sabatos Crystal Ball

Alabama Races

Florida Alabama Georgia South Carolina Tennessee Maryland Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Maine New Hampshire Vermont New York Pennsylvania Ohio Michigan Ilinois Wisconsin Hawaii Alaska Arkansas Iowa Minnesota Texas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota Arizona New Mexico Colorado Wyoming Idaho Nevada California Oregon

View All Races

Alabama

Outlook: Likely Republican


November 8, 2006 Update:

As the Crystal Ball predicted, Republican Bob Riley won re-election over Democrat Pat Hubbert with 58% of the vote.

August 2, 2006 Update:

Republican Governor Bob Riley continues to dominate Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley and is now widely expected to secure a second term. Let’s remember that after his failed tax referendum at the end of his first year in office, he was almost unanimously written off for this second term. So the days must be sweet indeed for Riley.

June 7, 2006 Update:

These were the contests that weren’t. Governor Bob Riley won the Republican primary in a landslide over former Chief Justice Roy Moore, and this sets Riley up nicely for reelection. Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley also won a landslide over indicted former governor Don Siegelman; Democrats recognized the obvious–that an indicted former governor does not make the best gubernatorial nominee. Given Alabama’s GOP leanings, we believe that Riley is very likely to win in November.

June 1, 2006 Update:

Governor Bob Riley is doing very well against Roy Moore in the GOP primary, and he is now a favorite to win that primary and the general election.

March 27, 2006 Update:

GOP Governor Bob Riley has solidified his position, and while we would still not put this solidly in his column, it appears that he is doing well against Roy Moore in the Republican primary, and he has a solid edge in public and private polls against both of the possible Democrats, former governor Don Siegelman and Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley. We continue to believe Lieutenant Governor Baxley will be the Democratic nominee. It is simply impossible to run for a non-consecutive term for governor while one is under indictment and is attending trial daily, as Siegelman is.

September 27, 2005 Update:

Alabama is certainly a Republican bastion, but recently, Governor Bob Riley has been facing a lot of opposition in his race for reelection. Leading lobbyist Paul Hubbert is strongly advocating against Riley’s tax-cut reforms. Hubbert says that the tax-cut with inevitably cost $350 million in annual revenue if implemented the way Riley wants it. This is a direct split between Democratic and Republican ideals…and the result on November 7th will show how most Alabamans truly feel.

Erin Levin, Crystal Ball Southern Regional Correspondent


Background

This ought to be a sure thing for the Republicans, but it isn’t. Alabama is massively conservative, and therefore GOP-listing. Republican Governor Bob Riley, a former U.S. House member, ousted one-term Democrat Don Siegelman in an extremely close election in 2002. Then Riley did something few Reagan Republicans attempt: he sought a statewide referendum to raise taxes. Predictably, it failed overwhelmingly. In the two years since, Riley has recovered somewhat. Nevertheless, even though he may have been a narrow favorite for reelection in the past, he barely maintains that status.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, tossed from his judicial office for insisting on the public display of the Ten Commandments, is mounting a GOP primary challenge to Riley. In Alabama, God is exceptionally popular, and many Christian conservatives will flock to Moore. State Senator Harri Anne Smith, the most conservative member of the state senate, is considering entering the GOP nomination race, and if she does, it could further split the Republican Party.

Due to this Republican division, the Democrats have a chance to take back the statehouse, but only with Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley. Why not former Governor Siegelman? Because he has been indicted on multiple charges and is facing trial in mid-2006. Even were he to be found not guilty in court, a serious indictment concerning cash-for-appointment in Siegelman’s prior gubernatorial administration does not recommend him to voters for reelection.

Candidates

Bob Riley (I) – Republican – current Governor and former U.S. Congressman
Website

Lucy Baxley – Democrat – current Lt. Governor and former State Treasurer
Website