Alabama Archive:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Alabama, Mississippi, and New Jersey Results Open Thread

Posted by James L.

The polls are closed in these three states and results are trickling in.

AL-GOV: 4.38% 36.11% 84.97%Precincts Reporting (Note: A candidate needs 50%+1 in order to avert a run-off):

Lucy Baxley (D): 17,075 (54.27) 44,761 (58.16) 125,233 (61.01) 249,134 (59.93)
Siegelman, Don (D) 13,757 (43.72) 30,031 (39.02) 73,007 (35.57) 150,698 (36.25)

Okay, Baxley's starting to put this thing away. Thank God.

Bob Riley (R-inc): 28,408 (69.23) 59,973 (68.19) 132,761 (65.42)
Roy Moore (R): 12,624 (30.77) 27,971 (31.81) 70,185 (34.58)

Riley's safe; yawn.

MS-02: 5.26% 23.48% 47.57% 77.53% Precincts Reporting :

Bennie Thompson (D-Inc): 2,893 (76.64) 16,340 (65.98) 29,440 (64.52) 41,801 (63.79)
Chuck Espy (D): 864 (22.89) 8,261 (33.36) 15,884 (34.81) 23,237 (35.46)

The AP's also calling it for Thompson. Espy didn't come close at all, despite the name.

NJ-13 Special Primary, 25.28% 65.15% 94.99% Precincts Reporting :

Albio Sires (D): 3,661 (56.33) 12,684 (67.46) 23,337 (73.51)
Joseph Vas (D): 2,838 (43.67) 6,117 (32.54) 8,410 (26.49)

Vas looked surprisingly strong early on, but they're calling it for Sires, the Corzine-endorsed machine candidate.

I'll post updates when the picture changes.

Posted at 08:41 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Alabama, Mississippi, New Jersey | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Other Races to Watch on June 6

Posted by James L.

Earlier in the week, we gave you the rundown of all the hot primary races in California and Montana. Lost in the shuffle is the fact that primaries are being held in six other states, as well: Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. Here's what you should be keeping your eye on:

AL-Gov: This is one race that sure didn't live up to its billing. Last year, it looked like former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (of "Ten Commandments" fame) might knock off unpopular Alabama Gov. Bob Riley in the Republican primary on the strength of the religious right, setting up the Democratic nominee with a chance to pick up the votes of, well, the sane faction of Alabama's Republican Party. But a year is a long time in politics, and Riley has looked stronger than ever since his performance during Hurricane Katrina boosted his popularity. The latest SUSA poll shows Moore tanking, so all the action is on the Democratic side, where former Gov. Don Siegelman's ongoing corruption trial is turning the primary against Lt-Gov. Lucy Baxley into a bit of a gong show, especially since Siegelman has been running neck-and-neck with Baxley in the polls for much of the campaign. Fortunately, Baxley has been surging ahead lately in the polls as Siegelman's trial has been dominating the local headlines. The only hope for Siegelman is that he can force a run-off, and in the meantime, find himself miraculously acquitted and get a boost from voters who may just buy into his assertion that the corruption/bribery charges were all a "political plot". But let's be real here: if Baxley can't win outright on Tuesday against this indicted punching bag, she's going to be destroyed by the much more formidable Riley this November.

IA-Gov: Given the importance of Iowa in Presidential elections, you'd think that there'd be more ink spilled on the national blogs over this race; Tom Vilsack is retiring, and other potential White House contenders would love to have a friend in the Iowa Governor's mansion during the next campaign season. The Republicans have already settled on IA-01 Rep. Jim Nussle for the nod, a deft politician who survived a decade of tough campaigns in a Democratic district. The Democratic field looks to be a two or three-way race between Secretary of State Chet Culver, former Rep. Mike Blouin, and State Senator Ed Fallon. The National Journal has a good summary of the field. Blouin, who hasn't run for elected office since losing his congressional seat in 1978, seems to be the establishment choice, and has racked up a huge amount of endorsements from major party players. Still, Culver is seen as the front-runner, and he was the only Democrat to lead Nussle in the most recent round of Rasmussen polls. Fallon is running a Wellstone-inspired outsider campaign.

MS-02: Of the four Democratic House incumbents facing moderate-to-serious primary challenges this Tuesday (the other two being CA-06's Lynn Woolsey, CA-36's Jane Harman and CA-51's Bob Filner), perhaps the most competitive is State Rep. Chuck Espy's challenge to seven-term Rep. Bennie Thompson. Espy's uncle, Mike Espy, is the former Congressman of the same district--and his election in 1986 made him the first black Congressman in Mississippi since Reconstruction. Mike Espy later went on to be Clinton's Agriculture Secretary and retains some popularity in the district, so the family connection gives his nephew a lift at the polls. I don't have a moose in this race, but for what it's worth, Thompson has sharply criticized Espy for being the beneficiary of a Republican-linked PAC that's hoping to topple Thompson by flooding the Democratic primary with Republican voters. Mississippi has an open primary system and no official party registration, but some establishment Democrats hoped to tighten the primary election rules by filing an unsuccessful lawsuit on the issue (a move apparently orchestrated to help protect Thompson.) Larry Sabato put this race in the top five primary challenges to watch back in February, and ranked the race as "Leans Thompson", but that was before Espy's fundraising kicked into gear. This AP article gives a decent overview of the race, for further information.

SD-Gov: Former State Representative and current South Dakota Democratic Party Vice-Chair Jack Billion is squaring off with former SD Farmers Union president Dennis Wiese for the chance to face Gov. Mike Rounds in the general election this November. Rounds, as you may recall, signed a horrendously restrictive abortion ban in March, and SD Democrats have the opportunity to make this an interesting race. As DavidNYC wrote, this isn't necessarily about defeating Rounds, but rather, this is about bruising him badly enough so that he'll be less formidable should he choose to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson for his seat in 2008. It's about thinking two moves ahead.

I realize that I'm missing the IA-01 rundown, but sleep is the imperative right now. I'll post an update tomorrow.

Posted at 04:34 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, South Dakota | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, May 29, 2006

AL-Gov: Baxley Opens Up 18-point Lead Over Siegelman

Posted by James L.

Finally, from a Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll (likely voters, April in parens):

Lucy Baxley (D): 45 (39)
Don Siegelman (D): 27 (34)
MoE: ±5%

Siegelman, a former Governor of Alabama, is currently embroiled in a trial for corruption and bribery charges. That it took this long for Baxley to bury Siegelman in the polls is fairly troubling. The winner of the primary (also on June 6--but if no candidate receives 50%+1 of the votes, there will be a run-off on July 18th between the top two vote-getters) will face either incumbent Republican Gov. Bob Riley or former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore. Riley is looking more and more like the shoo-in in the primary, but at least it looks like he won't be running against an indicted punching bag like Siegelman in the general.

UPDATE: A recent SUSA poll shows a much tighter picture (likely voters):

Lucy Baxley (D): 43 (39)
Don Siegelman (D): 43 (47)
MoE: ±4.4%
Both polls show Baxley with differing degrees of momentum, however. Such a wide discrepancy is pretty strange, but all the ink that's going to be spilled over Siegelman's ongoing trial in the next few weeks is clearly not the type of publicity he needs to push himself over the top.

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 27, 2005

AL-Gov: Seigelman Indicted - Again

Posted by DavidNYC

Some news out of AL:

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy were indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged bribery and extortion scheme.

The 30-count indictment, returned today in Montgomery, Alabama, accuses Scrushy, 53, of paying $500,000 in bribes. Paul Hamrick, a former chief of staff to the governor, and Gary Roberts, the ex-director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, were also charged in the case.

Siegelman, 59, a Democrat, was governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003. The indictment alleges that Scrushy made two payments to Siegelman in exchange for appointing the business executive to an Alabama state board that approves hospital construction.

Fortunately, we still have a great - I'd say, much better - candidate for the Alabama gub race in Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley. Seigelman really, seriously ought to just step aside. Unfortunately, he's being really unreasonable.

P.S. Siegelman was indicted once before for a bid-rigging scheme, but the charges were dismissed as his case was proceeding to trial. This set of charges pertains to a different accusation entirely.

Posted at 04:15 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 17, 2005

AL-Gov: Riley (R) in the Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

Last week, I wrote about the Republican primary in the Alabama governor's race. A new poll showed incumbent Republican Bob Riley taking a big lead over maniac ex-judge Roy Moore. Today, the same outfit - a combined venture of the University of South Alabama and the Mobile Register - releases polling on hypothetical general election matchups. And it doesn't look pretty for our side (registered voters, Feb. in parens):

Baxley: 33 (39)
Riley: 44 (35)
Undecided: 23 (26)

Siegelman 31 (34)
Riley: 46 (43)
Undecided: 23 (23)

Baxley: 44 (44)
Moore: 37 (38)
Undecided: 19 (18)

Siegelman: 40 (34)
Moore: 40 (44)
Undecided: 20 (22)
(MoE: ±5%)

On the Dem side, it's Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley vs. form Gov. Don Siegelman. In the last poll on the Dem primary (all the way back in January), Baxley led Siegelman 45-31. The latter evidently remains unpopular - he was indicted last year for allegedly participating in a bid-rigging scheme (though the charges were dismissed by a judge just as the case went to trial). I would expect Baxley to win the primary.

The February head-to-head results between Baxley and Riley were heartening, but man, that's a big delta - Baxley goes from +4 to -11. Why might this have happened?

My thesis in my earlier post on this race was that if the conservative base were truly deserting Bush over the Miers nomination, Riley would suffer because disaffected wingnuts would flock to the ideologically "purer" Moore. The earlier primary poll showed that the opposite was happening, and Riley seems not to have suffered at all in this general election poll.

The main alternate explanation for Riley's resurgence against Moore was that Riley's approval went up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, just as neighboring MS Governor Haley Barbour's did. (Poor Kathleen Blanco of LA seems to be the exception.) I hope this is the case, because impressions like that fade as people return to their lives and their everyday problems. (Bush saw a spike when Saddam was captured. That must seem like ages ago to him.)

We're a long way out, and I'm confident that Baxley, should she be our nominee, can run a strong race against Riley. I'd bet that the truth lies somewhere in between the February and October polls - in other words, the race will be very, very tight. And this is in Alabama, which just goes to show that you should never, ever write off entire segments of the country. Hell, even Bush only has a 51% approval rating here. A bit of a Dem tide in 2006 could definitely put this seat in our hands.

UPDATE: Reader John e-mails me with another poll on the primaries taken just days ago by SUSA. The Dem side shows Seigelman crushing Baxley, 54-24. That result is so wildly different from the January Register poll I mentioned above that I'm really not sure what to make of the situation, except to say that 10 months is a long time in politics. But if this poll is right, then my tentative prediction that Baxley would win the primary is probably shot.

The GOP side is even crazier. SUSA has Riley over Moore, 44-38. That's a hell of a lot closer than the 44-25 Riley lead that the Register claimed just a week ago. My head is spinning. Any thoughts?

Posted at 02:51 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 10, 2005

AL-Gov: An Interesting Test-Case

Posted by DavidNYC

In the flap over the Miers nomination, lots of liberals have gleefully predicted that this is finally, truly the moment we've long been waiting for: The emergence of a real and unhealable rift between the Republican party's rank-and-file Christian conservative "base" and the money-grubbing, neo-conning leadership. I've always been skeptical about such predictions - they've been made non-stop since the end of the Cold War, without ever being - but I do agree that the level of anger and vitriol spewing forth from the alleged base seems unprecedented.

But Billmon sagely questions this hope with the following observation. It's hard to do Billmon justice by just quoting a line or two, so permit me to indulge in a long-ish excerpt:

[T]he anguished caterwauling in Right Blogostan (and in George Will's op-ed factory) doesn't seem to represent the mainstream of conservative opinion out in that bizarre constructed reality sometimes known as "meat space."


It's a useful reminder that while we tend to think of the "base" as consisting of the partisan bootlickers in Washington and us blowhards here in Blogostan, there are many conservatives and liberals out there who don't listen to Rush Limbaugh or Air America, don't spend their spare time surfing the blogs, don't compulsively follow the latest political developments, and don't fly off the handle just because their favorite legal idol has been passed over for a Supreme Court nomination.


The kind of conservatives I'm talking about are probably anti-abortion, but have conflicting views on the specifics -- like whether or when or how much of Roe v Wade should be overturned. Discussions about whether abortions should be permitted in rape and incest case make them uncomfortable. Like Bush, they'd rather duck the hard questions. They're "culture of life" conservatives.

For the silent minority, judicial appointments simply may not have the overwhelming importance that they do for the true dittoheads and the Federalist Society groupies. Nor does the partisan ferocity that caused so many blog nuts to pop their gasket when they heard that Miers had given money to the hated 'rats. Some silent minority conservatives are Democrats, or used to be. Who knows? Some may have even given money to Al Gore, way back when he was the great white Southern Democratic hope.

So who's right? Billmon or the schismatics? It seems to me that the University of South Alabama & the Mobile Register have provided us with an interesting test-case in the form of a poll on the Alabama Republican gubernatorial primary (likely voters, January in parens):

Riley: 44 (35)
Moore: 25 (43)
Undecided: 31 (22)
MoE: ±5%

Bob Riley is the incumbent Governor of Alabama. Roy Moore, as you'll probably recall, is the crazy "Ten Commandments" judge who got booted off the AL high court for violating a court order requiring him to remove his religious monument from the state judicial building.

Both Moore and Riley have launched their campaigns in the past week. The showdown between the two men is a straight-up battle between Mainstream Republicanism and the forces of Outer Wingnuttia. If you're a conservative who is sick of the fact that, after 5 years of Republican domination of all branches of government, abortion is still legal, school prayer is still illegal, and gays can freely walk the streets, then Roy Moore is your man.

So what does all this have to do with Miers? The Register poll was conducted from October 3rd through October 6th. The timing, in other words, was perfect - Bush announced Miers' nomination on the 3rd, and right-wing anger was at its frothiest during those first few days.

But wow, check out those trendlines. In under a year, Moore went from +8 to -19 - an astounding 27-point delta. What makes this move all the more astounding is the poll was taken right when Moore should have most benefitted from the backlash against the Miers nomination - if the schismatics' theory is correct.

But, sadly, it looks like Billmon is right - the exact opposite seems to have happened. Roy Moore's doing disastrously right when he ought to have been doing his best. However, there is a fair amount of "noise" in this poll - that is, external factors affecting the outcome - which is why I call it only an "interesting" test-case, not a "great" one. (For instance, Riley's gotten positive coverage in the Katrina aftermath, while Moore's been mostly invisible.)

And even Moore hasn't exactly come out swinging against Miers (apologies for linking to World Nut Daily), so maybe embittered wingnuts will think he's sold them out, too. But if he chooses to make a big issue of it, I will be very curious to see if he gains any traction. And whether Moore does or doesn't will give us a window on to how deep this supposed split is.

Posted at 12:50 PM in Alabama | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Russ Feingold, Alabama kiss and make up

Posted by Bob Brigham

Feingold made up with Greenville.

Tim has more on Feingold for President, 2008.

Posted at 10:51 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Alabama, Wisconsin | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, February 21, 2005

Baxley leads all...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Alabama's Gubernatorial Race for 2006:

Bob Riley (R-incumbent) 35
Lucy Baxley (D) 39

Roy Moore (R) 38
Lucy Baxley (D) 44

Riley (R) 43 (46)
Don Seigelman (D) 34 (36)

Moore (R) 44 (40)
Seigelman (D) 34 (39)

For more on the race, here is an overview I did about a week and a half ago. Thanks to Kos for the heads up. LINK to Alabama State Democratic Party Blog

Posted at 12:40 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Technorati

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Alabama: Roy Moore to run for Governor

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Everyone's favorite Constitution Party candidate, Roy Moore, looks like he will be running for Governor of Alabama in 2006. The GOP is ready to accept Moore into their "big tent" to take on incumbent Republican Governor Bob Riley in what would shape up as a spectular primary pitting wingnutery vs. extreme wingnuttery.

Moore flirted with the prospect of running for President of the United States under the Constitution banner in 2004, campaigning to turn the United States into a "Bible-based republic." Moore is the Chief Justice in Alabama who was booted for refusing a federal judge's order that the Ten Commandment be taken down from outside the state judicial building.

This is actually a seat that the Democrats can pick-up. However, the Democratic Party of Alabama would much rather have a rematch with Riley as opposed to taking on the extremely popular Moore. The Alabama State House of Representatives is controlled by the Democratic party, adding the Governor's Mansion would be a nice boost.

The Democratic nominee will most likely be Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley or a rematch against ex-Governor Don Siegelman. In 2002, Riley defeated Siegelman by a mere 3,110 votes.

Posted at 04:31 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Technorati

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Positive Reinforcement...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

If you have 30 seconds, please visit the Alabama Democratic Party Blog and post a comment. Praise the "yellow dogs" for creating a vehicle for two-way communication and offer suggestions you have their the blog.

It would help if we could use states like Arizona and Alabama as examples (and new ones as they emerge) to help push the state parties lagging behind towards creating their own blogs.

Posted at 02:00 PM in Activism, Alabama | Comments (2) | Technorati


Posted by Tim Tagaris

A few weeks ago, many of us embarked on a project to bring each and every state party online with a blog for their home page. It started with Bob Brigham's discovery that 3/4 of state parties lack the most basic tools for two-way communication with the grassroots. So we embarked on a mission -- a mission to bring the 34 state party websites without blogs, up to speed. Today, I am happy to report that the next of those states has come on board, and who would have guessed it...

The New Alabama Democratic Party Blog.

I must admit, the project got me down. Tales of failed attempts to convince and outright refusal by some states to even discuss the prospect of a blog had me about to call it quits. Now, I am ready to pick the fight back up. Bouyed by the Alabama Democratic Party (Brannon), I want all who stepped in the first time to join me again.

In the extended entry you will find a list of states who don't have blogs, and ones that do but do not use them. Even if someone has claimed a state, jump on board and indicate in the comments that you will do so. Let's put the pressure on from all angles.

Please keep me updated as you progress, or decide not to progress. If states don't want to listen, we can adopt a plan 'B' for them. Let's set a stated goal of June 1, 2005 to bring every state party on board. Once again, please include the state you are adopting and your email address in the comments. If you have already done some work, please report on your experience as well.

The States:

AL: (ttagaris - - Will have a blog next week
AZ: Just put a blog two days ago.
DE: (ttagaris - - Currently talking with them
FL: (ttagaris - - Have had a few conversations with them
IA: (Hans - ) - Need an email address
KY: (ttagaris - - Turning blog option "on" shortly.
LA: (ara - Just moved to Louisiana
ME: (Alna Dem -
MA: (Ken Michaud - - will email this weekend
MI: (Rabid Nation -
MT: (Bob Brigham - "Montana..I'll land"
NH: (Chuck - -- Is in for New Hampshire
NY: - We have one person that wishes to remain anonymous.
NC: (ttagaris - Revamping webpage to include a blog
ND: (ttagaris - - Talking with State Chairman Monday
PA: (Chris Bowers from MyDD) is going to handle it "in a way so large its hard to imagine"
TN: (ttagaris- - Talked to them today. Putting one up
TX: (sharon - - Has decided to mess with Texas
VT: (Lunch Lady -
WA: I think either Ron or N in Seattle had a lead here. Can't recall.
WV: (Carnaki --
WI: (Mike - - Has already taken step 1

Additionally, ID (Bernine - Value of using a blog

NM, UT, and WY have blogs that they have decided not to use and

MD's blog has only 2 posts. ( &

Tech Help: (

Posted at 11:07 AM in Activism, Alabama | Comments (3) | Technorati

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