Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can the GOP take the Alabama state senate?

The Alabama GOP has been crowing since the days that Winton Blount ran the state party back in the 90's that their on the verge of taking control of the Alabama state legislature for the first time in recent history. This is the first time though that I'm actually buying into that theory. Right now the margin in the state senate stands at a 20-15 democrat majority but that doesnt tell the whole story. The GOP has picked up five seats in that chamber in the last three and a half years so the local trends and the prevailing national winds are working in their favor for the first time. They need three seats to gain control and right now they are favored to pick up the seats that are currently held by retiring democrat senators Hinton Mitchem and Kim Benefield. If they held the current 15 seats they have then that would get them to 17. The good news doesnt stop there for the Alabama GOP because there are even more democrat senators in severe danger of losing. Danny over at the politicalparlor.net has got incumbent democrat senators Zebulon Little and Tom Butler rated in the toss up category for this fall against their GOP opponents. Then you also have a situation brewing down in the Montgomery area where the longtime democrat senator "Walking" Wendell Mitchell has been battling some health problems as of late. You naturally wish him well but if his health further declines then this would be yet another GOP opportunity. Over in the state house, the current democrat majority stands at a 60-45 margin. But there are a good number of historically democrat controlled seats ranging from the Shoals area in the northwest part of the state to the southeast part of Alabama that are in serious danger of flipping to the GOP this fall. Now with all that being said, the Alabama GOP was kind of in this boat back in 1998 when it came to the state senate but then the bottom fell out from under them. They had issues with their nominee for Governor and people they thought were republicans quickly switched to the democrats after the election and it went down hill from there. The same could happen this year if Roy Moore were to somehow win the nod to be the GOP nominee for Governor or if Harri Anne Smith were to be reelected as a state senator. So while the outlook right now is very promising for the GOP in Alabama this fall. History in that state has shown the GOP is more than capable of blowing what currently looks like a landslide election for them this fall.

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