Sabato's Crystal Ball

Alabama (02) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans D

Democratic candidate: Bobby Bright, incumbent

Republican candidate: Martha Roby, Montgomery councilwoman

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: July 27, 2010

After winning the runoff election against businessman Rick Barber, Montgomery councilwoman Martha Roby will face Rep. Bobby Bright in the fall. With $734,000 already in the bank and his party’s strong support, Bright seems ready for the challenge. But in a year when Democrats are vulnerable, Bright remains a Republican target. Although she is lagging behind in fundraising, Roby still has a lot of enthusiastic supporters. So this race remains a Toss-up.

Background:

Freshman Democratic incumbent Bobby Bright wasted no time making a name for himself in Washington. Since winning election by only 2,000 votes, in a district that went 63 percent for John McCain, Bright has established himself as one of the Democrats most likely to buck House leadership. Bright has voted the Democratic line only 70% of the time (compared to a 93% average across all Democratic members of Congress), and has been a very vocal member of the conservative Blue Dog Caucus.

Despite Bright’s best efforts, he could still very well fall victim to a Republican resurgence in 2010. His name pops up at or near the top of virtually all Republican target lists, a scenario that reflects his district’s political history at least as much as Bright’s legislative record. Montgomery councilwoman Martha Roby appears to be the Republican favorite to challenge Bright in 2010; with $125,000 already in the bank, Roby should be able to put up a strong fight.

For the time being, this race is a toss-up, and one that we’ll be keeping a very close eye on.