Sabato's Crystal Ball

Alabama (05) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely R

Democratic candidate: Steve Raby, political consultant

Republican candidate: Mo Brooks, Madison County Commissioner

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

 Update: August 28, 2010

After deciding to switch parties in December 2009, Parker Griffith later lost the Republican primary to Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks. Steve Raby, a political consultant and former Chief of Staff to late Senator Heflin, is the Democrats’ nominee. Alabama’s 5th district has conservative political leanings, and Brooks has a slight fundraising advantage of about $145,000 over his opponent. These advantages bode well for Brooks, especially in a Republican-friendly election year. This race is Likely Republican.

Background:

Freshman Democratic incumbent Parker Griffith eyes another term after replacing retiring fellow Democrat, Bud Cramer, in 2008. The 5th district became dominated in the 1950’s by high-tech and engineering industries, and it has embraced liberal economic policies. Just as significant, it has voted Democrat in each congressional election since Reconstruction.

However, that daunting statistic does not intimidate Republican candidates looking to capitalize on a potential wave election for Republicans. Navy veteran Lester Phillip and Madison County Commissioner Morris Brooks both significantly trail Griffith in funding, but they can find solace in the fact that Republican presidential candidates have overwhelmingly won in the 5th District since Ronald Reagan, and John McCain even garnered 60 percent of the vote here in 2008. In addition, Griffith only edged his Republican opponent, Wayne Parker, by 3 percent in 2008. It appears that the historic Democratic stranglehold over this deep southern district might be slipping.