Few Yellow Dogs found here now
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–Now that the dust has settled from a truly historic election, allow me to pick up a few pieces.
President Bush, as predicted, easily won Alabama, but the magnitude of his victory was little less than astonishing. In fact, his 62 percent-38 percent margin was the widest since Richard Nixon overwhelmed George McGovern in 1972 by a 78 percent-22 percent margin.
Bush carried 57 of the state's 67 counties…losing only in the nine predominantly black counties–Sumter, Greene, Hale, Perry, Dallas, Wilcox, Lowndes, Macon and Bullock–and the almost-black majority county of Montgomery.
Not one county in the Tennessee Valley…once the heart of "Yellow Dog Democrat" country….went for Kerry last Tuesday.
Put simply, the beating Bush administered to Kerry in Alabama was brutal.
The Bush coattails were also wide…carrying every Republican candidate on the statewide ballot to victory.
All three GOP nominees for seats on the Supreme Court were swept into office riding on the Bush bandwagon, so was one Republican nominee for the Court of Civil Appeals.
The most eye-catching of the Court races was of course for Place No. 1 between Republican Tom Parker…who had been annointed for the office by ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore…and Democrat Robert Smith.
While some of his backers claimed that Parker's victory could be attributed in part to Moore's backing, the fact is his race was considerably closer than the other Supreme Court races.
The bottom line: The jury is still out on how much clout Moore has in the political arena.
An interesting and historical sidebar to those races. For the first time, come next year Alabama's Supreme Court will be all-Republican.
A quick look at a few other races. All seven incumbent U. S. House members were reelected, and what at one time was thought to be a close race turned out not to be. In the Third District, incumbent Republican Mike Rogers of Anniston overwhelmed Democrat Bill Fuller.
Ever since Bob Riley gave up this seat to run for governor in 2002 the National Democrats thought they might have a chance of winning that seat. They made a strong effort to win the seat in 2002 with Joe Turnham, but after his defeat by Rogers the national party gave little aid to Fuller this year.
A few other tidbits of interest of a more local interest…
You have to have a little age on you to remember this, but once upon a time North Alabama was bone "dry" as far as the sale of alcoholic beverages was concerned. It was the hotbed of prohibitionists and while most South Alabama counties voted "wet" as soon as the law allowed, not so the counties of the Bible Belt of North Alabama.
Those days are long gone, and this was underscored one more time last Tuesday when the folks in Fort Payne in DeKalb County…albeit by a narrow margin…legalized the sale of alcohol in that city. The vote was 2,597 to 2,427.
A massive turnout of black voters in Montgomery…all of them voting the straight Democratic ticket…ended the careers of two long-time Circuit Judges–Republicans Mark Anderson and Richard Durrough. Time are a-changing, politically speaking, in Montgomery with the ever-increasing African-American population.
Unrelated to the election, the Alabama Legislature comes back into town this week in what is billed as a five-day session to tweak the health insurance plan for teachers and state employees and hopefully save about a $60 million annually.
That will be a nice saving, but when you remember that the total cost of this insurance plan for public employees is expected to reach $1 billion in a year or two, the saving of $60 million is but a drop in the bucket.