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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Sabato Calls Gov Race a "Toss-up"

Larry Sabato is one of the premier mainstream political scientists in the country.

Sabato monitors campaigns and elections throughout the country and has a lot to do in developing the "conventional wisdom" so often quoted by the media. Sabato certainly has found a successful niche, but I haven't see much evidence that he has any more insight into the races than anyone else who pays close attention to the political scene. But since he is a relative heavyweight in the field of political prognostications, I thought it worthwhile to pass along his thoughts on the Alabama governor's race.

TOSSUP
Alabama - What a spectacle. Governor Bob Riley (R), who barely beat incumbent Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman in 2002, tried to raise taxes and isn't conservative enough for some Republicans, who may back ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (of "Ten Commandments" fame--not the movie, the monument). Meanwhile Gov. Siegelman wants his old job back, but he's gotten himself indicted in a cash-for-appointment scandal, which may give the Democratic nod to Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, whose slogan is the wholesome, "I Love Lucy." We'll give a fingernail's edge to Riley, but he'd better review the Indiana Jones films so he can learn to dodge multiple bullets, arrows and boulders with the best of them.
So feel free to agree or disagree with Sabato's insight. And for my money Chuck Todd and Stu Rothenberg are the best political handicappers around.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Sabato was rather smart until he spoke at the BCA conference in August 2004. He said, and I quote, "It will take a miracle for Bush to get re-elected." I haven't put much stock in anything Sabato's said since.

7:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riley instituted a back door tax at the height of a real estate bubble. This will come back to bite him when everyone gets their property tax assessments weeks before the November elections. Who ever is running against him will have a bounce.

8:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a Sabato fan myself, but I do think his assessment of Bush's reelection prospects wasn't as far off as the first poster suggests. Bush's second-term victory wasn't sealed until the homosexual activists tried to force fake marriage down everyone's throats, beginning with Massachusetts and California.

The backlash from conservatives resulted in real marriage protection ballot initiatives in a dozen states, and the higher evangelical voter turnout that resulted probably supplied Bush's margin of victory; certainly it made the difference in the key state of Ohio.

8:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the primary election were today, I'm certain Riley would win. Moore can easily win in June, however, if he'll stop trying to be politer than thou and go on the attack.

Voters punish personal attacks but they reward policy attacks. So far Moore doesn't understand the difference, so he won't attack Riley even for his dismal policy failures. It's not too late, however, so Moore's close supporters need to talk to him repeatedly until the message gets through.

Moore is not an incumbent; he needs to stop running his campaign like one.

8:50:00 AM  
Anonymous SouthernLawyer said...

Besides Amendment One, Moore should attack Riley on so-called gay marriage. Sure, Riley says he opposes it -- but who, Moore or Riley, will actually prevent gay marriage by refusing to enforce the federal court order we all know is coming?

Moore should say over and over that the only way to stop gay marriage in Alabama is to vote for him. All the state constitutional amendments in the world won't help if the governor rolls over when the next tyrannical judge with a messiah complex orders his notion of enlightened marriage on the people of Alabama.

The beauty of this approach is that Riley can't win either way.

If he says he'll obey the illegimate order, the voters will turn to Moore (if he keeps on message). If Riley says he'll disobey the unlawful federal court order, Moore can respond: "So you'll defend one of the Ten Commandments but not all of them?" In this scenario as well, the voters will turn to Moore.

Riley's only hope is that Moore's people don't recognize the strategic importance of this approach or that, if they do, Moore is too busy being holier than Jesus by avoiding any "negative" campaign that he refuses to strike to secure victory.

9:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riley disobey a federal court order to accept homo marriage in Alabama? Not a chance. He'll just bend over and take it.

I mean, if Riley will obey a federal court order that never existed to justify his stealth tax increase, then he'll surely be faithful to a real federal court order.

9:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie Cook is the best 'southern' analyst. he is from louisiana and understands the southern mind, as it were. Sabato is like natalie davis, just so much blather and blither.

10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diebold made the difference in Ohio. And civil rights activists weren't shoving 'fake marriage' down anyone's throat. Karl Rove was the one who brilliantly stirred up the homophobic vote which isn't hard to do.

11:21:00 AM  
Blogger CNH_320 said...

Diebold (the voting machines)Made the difference in Ohio?! What a kook you are!

And, Southernlawyer, please explain about this federal court order that's going to impose gay amrriage on us. I assume you mean something related to the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Such an order would have to strike down DOMA as unconstitutional, and would be the biggest blessing traditional marriage could ever have. As soon as a federal court struck down DOMA, momentum would really pick up for a marriage constitutional amendment.

And one more point I can't pass up: Southernlawyer, which of the Ten Commandments says anything about marriage as being between a man and a woman?

11:52:00 AM  
Blogger CNH_320 said...

Let me be clear on that last point. The Bible certainly is clear on marriage: Genesis, Leviticus, Matthew; but I don't think the Ten Commandments say anything related to marriage except no adultry and no coveting your neigbor's wife.

11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No voter fraud in Ohio, genius? Yeah right...and Saddam was the mastermind behind 9-11.

2:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who thought Bush was going to lose needs to be put in a state mental asylum...and then released because we don't have the funding for it.

The economy was on the rise, and the Dems could not then, and cannot now pass the believability threshold when it comes to national security. Sorry. Until you can show the American people you can keep them safe, all the corruption scandals in the world ain't changing control of Congress.

2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Another Anonymous said...

I see it as Riley's race to lose. Unless he stubs his to in some clumsy way, or revelations of some sort of corruption can be substantiated against him, I believe he wins both the primary and general elctions.

2:56:00 PM  
Blogger CNH_320 said...

1) I'd like to see some of these anonymouses have the guts use some sort of name when they post so we can respond to each other more civilly.

2) For Dems to complain about voter fraud is like an arsonist complaining when his house is burned to the ground. I can sort of respect someone who is of the opinion that there was voter fraud in OH. Someone who thinks Kerry lost as a result of voter fraud needs to pack up his tinfoil hat and head on over to Bryce. You'll be safe from the black helicopters there.

3:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone from Virginia or who knows Sabato well knows that the person most impressed with Larry Sabato is Larry Sabato. The first poster is correct - I was there and heard this political prophet confidently declare that Bush was toast, finished, moving out. The guy has no legitimate back up for his prognostications - he just spouts off opinions.

It's a long way off -- still -- until June and November. But every credible poll from each of the major candidates and from the big interest groups shows Riley comfortably ahead of Moore in the primary and each Democrat in the general election. No doubt it will get closer as elections always do, but it is Riley's to lose at this point.

6:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Alabama Moderate said...

Actually, the polls were pretty well split down the middle, so the 2004 presidential race was a toss-up. Only a far left or far right politician would see 51% in the polls with a +-3 pt. margin of error and say, “Majority!”

As for “keeping America safe”… I don’t think one large-scale terrorist attack after 225 years of existence is a bad record.

4:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, it doesn't take too much thinking to remember 9/11; Pearl Harbor; Oklahoma City; 93 World Trade Center ... Don't those count?

6:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Alabama Moderate said...

Pearl Harbor was a military attack by Japan-- not a terrorist attack.

Oklahoma City could possibly be qualified, but it wasn't exactly done by a terrorist group.

5:06:00 PM  
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