Around the U.S. in 50 Days: Alabama

Like Mississippi, there should be little drama in neighboring Alabama in 2012. The state is solidly red and will vote solidly Republican while the GOP nominee will capture their nine electoral votes. With no Senatorial race, no Governor’s race, general anti-Obama tendencies and redistricting efforts that bolstered all incumbents, politics should bode well for the GOP in Alabama.

In the Mobile-based 1st District, Republican incumbent Jo Bonnor actually faces their toughest challenge in the March 13th primary against Dean Young, who is actually running to the right of Bonnor, and Peter Gouranres, who unsuccessfully challenged Bonnor in 2010.

If any district’s incumbent was in any conceivable way in danger, it would have been Martha Roby’s 2nd District. However, redistricting made it more GOP friendly territory. Thus far, she faces a possible rematch against Bobby Bright who had been seriously thinking about a run for his old seat and feels that 2010 was an aberration and they have a better chance of winning their seat back in 2012 than they did of retaining it in 2010. If not Bright, then her opponent will most likely be state representative Joe Hubbard.

The 3rd is safe for Mike Rogers while the 4th gained the northern part of Tuscaloosa while losing Blount County. It additionally gained Morgan County while losing Franklin County to the 5th District. All this makes Roger Aderholt safe also. The 6th- represented by Spencer Bacchus, Alabama’s longest serving representative among the current crop- is safe and Alabama’s lone Democrat, Terri Sewell, is safe in the black majority 7th District.

That leaves only the northern 5th District which underwent the most population changes. Due to dramatic population growth in the Huntsville/Madison County area, it had to shrink in size. Business and local leaders of the Decatur and Huntsville areas have long argued for a single, unified district and they got their wish this time. The resulting changes made Republican Mo Brooks more safe, but also had the domino effect elsewhere of moving the 4th even more in the GOP direction and also the 2nd further down state. In fact, the changes north, make Roby safe in her district.

Running totals thus far:
Obama 99 votes to 146 for the GOP nominee;
Net gain 2 Governors;
Net gain 3 Senators;
Net loss 7 House seats.

Next: Tennessee