Alabama gubernatorial election, 2010

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The Alabama gubernatorial election of 2010 will be held on November 2, 2010 following a primary election on June 1, 2010, which was also the deadline to file nominating signatures. If necessary, a primary run-off will be on July 13.[1]

Following the primary elections, Ron Sparks will be the Democratic nominee, having beaten Artur Davis by over 25 points. Robert Bentley and Bradley Byrne, as the top two vote getters in the Republican primary were both certified to run in the July 13, 2010 run off.[2]

In less than 24 hours, polls open to determine the name on the GOP's line come November. It was just over one month ago that Robert Bentley's surprise second -place finish forced a run-off. Then, he came in three points behind Bradley Bryne. Now, he's upended the table, with 53% of likely Republican voters preferring him. Byrne takes 33%, leaving him a chance at victory but a far less rosy one than the primary returns indicated.[3]

Incumbent Republican Governor Bob Riley could not run because he was limited-out. The Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010 continues to rank this seat as "Leans Republican" as of June 2010. It is one of eight (out of 37) races thus ranked as of January 2010. There are also eight races listed as "Leans Democratic".[4]

The Cook Political Report ranks the race as "Lean Republican" as of June 17.[5]

Candidates

Democratic

  • U.S. Congressman Artur Davis, who has represented the 7th District of Alabama since 2003, entered the race of February 6, 2009. During the campaign, he stressed his independence from Democratic party platforms, becoming the only black member of Congress to vote against President Barack Obama's healthcare bill. He lost the primary to Ron Sparks and announced he will finish his current term in Congress and then leave politics.
  • Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks began testing the waters to run for higher office in December 2008, when he launched a generic campaign site. On April 3, 2009, he formally announced himself as a candidate for the governor's seat. Upon Congressman Parker Griffith announcing his switch to the Republican party, Sparks briefly considered switching to a Congressional campaign.[6] However, he chose to continue gubernatorial bid only days later and handily won the Democratic primary against Artur Davis.[7]

Republican

  • Alabama State Representative Robert Bentley, a veteran and physician, entered the race in May 2009.[8] He surprised some observers when he finished second in the primary, forcing a run-off.
  • Bradley Byrne, an attorney and former member of the State Senate, is currently the chancellor of Alabama's Community College System.
  • Kay Ivey, the State Treasurer, was a candidate before poor performance in fundraising and in opinion polling led her to switch her candidacy to the Lieutenant Governor's race, a nomination she secured for her party.[9][10] Her departure from the race was early enough that was not officially certified to the primary race and did not appear on the ballot.
  • Businessman Tim James, who ran for the GOP nomination in 2002 and finished third, became the first announced Republican candidate, beginning his campaign more than two years ahead of the June 2010 primary. In a repeat of his first bid, he placed third in his party's primary, only 167 votes behind Robert Bentley.
  • Bill Johnson, who formerly directed the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, took less than 2% of the votes cast in the primary.
  • Judge Roy Moore previously server as the Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. He challenged incumbent Bill Riley in the 2006 governor's race and lost the primary. On June 1, 2009, Moore announced his candidacy for the 2010 race; he finished fourth in the primary.[11]
  • James Potts, a fifth-generation Alabaman and farmer, failed to gain traction and finished the primary with 0.3% of the vote.
  • Charles Taylor also struggled in the competitive race, winning 0.5% of the primary vote. He later stated his intent to vote for Bradley Bryne in an open letter on his campaign site.

July 13, 2010 GOP run-off

2010 Race for Governor - Republican Run-off
Candidates Percentage
Robert J. Bentley (R)
Bradley Byrne (R)

Endorsements

Robert J. Bentley

  • Former Congressman Sonny Callahan
  • Former Governor Mike Huckabee
  • Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Don Wallace
  • The Clarke County Democrat
  • The Tallassee Tribune
  • The Tuscaloosa News
  • The Wetumpka Herald
  • Professional Firefighters of Alabama

Bradley Byrne

  • U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus (AL-o6)
  • State Representative Jim Barton
  • State Representative Mike Bell
  • U.S. Representative Jo Bonner (R-AL)
  • Jeb Bush
  • State Representative Steve Clouse (R-93)
  • U.S. Representative Jack Edwards (AL-01)
  • Former U.S. Congressman for Alabama's 2nd District, Terry Everett
  • State Representative Chad Fincher
  • State Representative Victor Gaston
  • John W. Giles, former president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama
  • State Senator Jim Holley (R-31)
  • State Representative Jaime Ison
  • State Senator Tripp Pittman (R-Baldwin)
  • Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong
  • State Representative Phil Williams
  • The Anniston Star
  • The Birmingham News
  • The Montgomery Advertiser
  • The Press Register
  • Right On Huntsville
  • Alabama Association of Realtor
  • Alabama Home Builders Association
  • Alabama Retail Association
  • Alabama Trucking Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama
  • Business Council of Alabama

June 1, 2010 primary

2010 Race for Governor - Democrat Primary [12]
Candidates Percentage
Artur Davis (D) 36.69%
Green check mark.jpg Ron Sparks (D) 62.31%
Total votes 318,330
2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary [13]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Robert J. Bentley (R) 25.2%
Green check mark.jpgBradley Byrne (R) 27.9%
Tim James (R) 25.1%
Bill Johnson (R) 1.7%
Roy Moore (R) 19.3%
James Potts (R) 0.3%
Charles Taylor (R) 0.5%
Total votes 492,480

Cash on Hand and campaign donations

Candidate reporting deadlines of campaign funds for the 2010 gubernatorial cycle are as follows:

  • 2009 Annual Report - January 31, 2010
  • 45 Day Pre-Primary - April 19, 2010
  • 10 Day Pre-Primary - May 25 2010
  • 10 Day Pre-Run-off - July 8, 2010 (only due for GOP candidates)
  • 50 Day Pre-General - September 20, 2010
  • 10 Day Pre-General - October 28, 2010
  • 2010 Annual Report - January 31, 2011

A cursory glance at the numbers heading into the GOP run-off indicates that Mr. Byrne's greatest source of support is in Montgomery, while Mr. Bentley's locus in in Tuscaloosa. Given that Bentley has trailed his rival in fundraisng and cash-on-hand in every reporting period, it is indeed remarkable that he has forced the run-off.

Robert J. Bentley is running a largely self-financed campaign. Total donations to his own bid total $1,162.000.00, including two exceptionally large donations of $750,000.00 and $250,000.00. To date, Bentley's campaign has reported a total of $1,429,420.00. Of the non self-financed portion, Mr. Bentley's largest donors have been in law, advertising, and business. After adjusting his total donations for the substantial amount he has contributed, over 87% of his support has come form individuals. Almost all his funds (99.7%) have been raised in-state.[14]

Robert J. Bentley Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind[15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
10 Day Run-off [16] July 8, 2010 $14,351.09 $621,073.07 $37,859.20 $750,000.00 $1,187,731.50 $197,692.66
10 Day Primary [17] May 25, 2010 $105,587.56 $59,865.60 $0.00 $375,000.00 $526,093.07 $14,351.09
45 Day Primary [18] April 19, 2010 $733,253.71 $72,038.68 $0.00 $1,457.64 $701,162.47 $105,587.56
2009 Annual [19] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $144,067.00 $0.00 $787,000.00 $197,813.29 $733,253.71

Bradley Byrne has reported total donations of $3, 907, 162 as of July 12, 2010.[20] He has received major support from the construction and real estate businesses, with combined donations to date from the industries approaching half a million dollars. This includes $102,649 from construction businessman Jimmy Rane, $93,425 from the Alabama Builders and Contractors Association, and $50,000 each from the Home Builder Association of Alabama and the Alabama Association of Realtors. His single biggest contributor, the Alabama Retail Association, have donated $315,160, while Mr. Byrne has committed $49,500 of his own funds to his effort.

Individual donations account for just over half his donations while more than 97% of all funds raised have been in-state.

Bradley Byrne Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind[21] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
10 Day Run-off [22] July 8, 2010 $149,982.46 $2,004,970.45 $32,258.67 $774.89 $1,192,898.48 $262,829.32
10 Day Primary [23] May 27, 2010 $1,118,472.38 $1,051,643.00 $32,988.98 $349.83 $2,020,482.75 $149,982.46
45 Day Primary [24] April 19, 2010 $1,824,609.85 $1,154.115.00 $0.00 $2,918.82 $1,863,171.29 $1,118,472.38
2009 Annual [25] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $2,605,010.80 $0.00 $54231.80 $834,632.75 $1,824,609.85

Ron Sparks has seen the largest support for his gubernatorial bid come in from lawyers, lobbyists, and the labor sector. One PAC, that of the Alabama Educator's Association, is responsible for 13.44% of his campaign warchest, with donations totaling $210,500.00. He has also committed slightly over $100,000 from his Agriculture and Industries Commissioner campaign funds to his current race. Mr. Sparks shows just under one-third of his funds as having come from individuals and nearly all (98%) having been raised in-state. Compared to his Republican opponents, he has raised more more from single-issue PACs, showing receipts of $147,500.00 - just under one-tenth of his $1,566703.00 in funds to date. This is double Mr. Byrne's $63,850.00 in receipts form single-issue groups. Mr. Bentley does not report any significant donations from such groups.

Ron Sparks Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind[26] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
10 Day Primary [27] May 27, 2010 $298,289.24 $526,820.00 $10,428.84 $00.00 $706,297.54 $108,811.70
45 Day Primary [28] April 19, 2010 $836,094.56 $204,016.01 $18,666.48 $0.00 $741,821.33 $298,289.24
2009 Annual [29] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $656,188.00 $52,083.51 $608,500.44 $428,593.88 $836,049.56

Polling

2010 Race for Alabama Governor - Rasmussen Reports
Date Reported Byrne Sparks Other Not sure
June 9, 2010 [30] 49% 40% 5% 6%
May 28, 2010[31] 47% 41% 6% 6%
April 1, 2010[32] 43% 35% 11% 13%
Date Reported Bentley Sparks Other Not sure
June 9, 2010 [33] 56% 37% 2% 4%
May 28, 2010[34] 44% 31% 13% 11%
(Sample)[35] n=500 MoE=+/- 4.5% p=0.05
2010 Race for Alabama Governor - Public Policy Polling[36]
Date Reported Byrne Sparks Other Don't Know
March 31, 2010 [37] 43% 30% -% 26%
June 10, 2009[38] 41% 27% -% 33%

Electoral history

Currently, Alabama's term limited Republican Governor leads a state in which his rival party dominate both legislative chambers. However, the GOP holds the congressional delegation, with both Senate seats and four of seven Congressional districts being in Republican control. Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Session are serving their fourth and third terms, respectively, having both won re-election in their most recent elections by comfortable margins (67.55% for Mr. Shelby in 2004 and 58.58% for Mr. Sessions in 2002).

Gubernatorial history

1998 Gubernatorial Results
Candidates Percentage
Donald Siegleman (D) 57.7%
Fob James, Jr. (R) 42.1%
Total votes 1,314,901
2002 Gubernatorial Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Riley (R) 49.2%
Donald Siegleman (D) 49.0%
John Sophocleus (L) 1.7%
Total votes 1,364,602
2006 Gubernatorial Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Riley (R) 57.4%
Lucy Baxley (D) 41.6%
Total votes 1,238,154

Mr. Riley followed up his extraordinarily close win in 2002 with a far less harrowing margin in his 2006 re-election. Prior to his two terms of service, the state had elected a Democratic governor, Donald Siegleman, whom Riley unseated.

Presidential history[39]

2000 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 56.0%
Al Gore (D) 42.0%
2004 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 62.0%
John Kerry (D) 37.0%
2008 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
John McCain (R) 60.0%
Barack Obama (D) 39.0%
1992 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George H.W. Bush (R) 48.0%
Bill Clinton (D) 41.0%
1996 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Dole (R) 50.0%
Bill Clinton (D) 43.0%

Busking recent national trends, Alabama has steadily voted for the Republican candidate in Presidential elections, and by a margin that has been growing for the last several cycles. In fact, Alabama has not gone for a Democratic candidate since 1976. Prior to that, the state had swung red, voting for Goldwater in 1964. Native son George Wallace carried the state in 1968, and Alabama went from Nixon in 1972 to Carter in 1976. However, by the early 1990s, the Republican dominance was more than a fellow Southerner could break, even as the rest of the nation swept Bill Clinton into the White House. Earlier than post-Kennedy era triumph of the Republican's 'Southern Strategy', Alabama has been a staunchly blue state dating back to Reconstruction.

External links

Campaign Sites

Democratic

Republican

See also

References

  1. The Green Papers, "2010 Gubernatorial Primaries at a Glance"
  2. Alabama Secretary of State, "Certification of Republican party candidates", June 11 2010
  3. Al.com, "Poll: Robert Bentley holds 20-point lead over Bradley Byrne", July 8, 2010
  4. Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010"
  5. Cook Political Report, "Gubernatorial races 2010
  6. Politico, "Ron Sparks open to Parker Griffith challenge", December 27, 2009
  7. WHNT 19 News, "Ron Sparks to Stay In Governor's Race", December 29 2009
  8. Robert Bentley for Governor, "Representative Robert Bentley to Enter Race for Governor", May 12, 2009
  9. The Birmingham News, "Alabama Treasurer Kay Ivey switches from governor's to lieutenant governor's race for Republican primary", March 31, 2010
  10. Montgomery Advertiser, "Kay Ivey, GOP, nominated Lieutenant Governor, Alabama", June 1, 2010
  11. TimesDaily Montgomery Bureau, "Roy Moore enters race for governor", June 2, 2009
  12. Alabama Secretary of State Election Division - 2010 Republican and Democratic Primary
  13. Politico 2010 Election Map - Governor - Alabama
  14. Follow the Money, "BENTLEY, ROBERT JULIAN", accessed July 12, 2010
  15. [As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance.]
  16. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  17. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  18. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  19. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  20. Follow the Money, "BYRNE, BRADLEY R", accessed July 12, 2010
  21. [As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance.]
  22. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  23. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  24. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  25. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  26. [As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance.]
  27. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  28. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  29. Alabama Secretary of State, accessed July 12, 2010
  30. Rasmussen Reports, "Election 2010: Alabama Governor: Sparks Trails Top Republicans", June 9, 2010
  31. Rasmussen Reports, "Alabama Governor: Race Still Wide Open", May 28, 2010
  32. Rasmussen Reports, "Alabama Governor: Republicans slightly ahead in wide open contest", April 1, 2010
  33. Rasmussen Reports, "Election 2010: Alabama Governor: Sparks Trails Top Republicans", June 9, 2010
  34. Rasmussen Reports, "Alabama Governor: Race Still Wide Open", May 28, 2010
  35. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
  36. [Full crosstabs and methodology are available free of charge with the press release accompanying each poll.]
  37. Public Policy Polling, "GOP Favored in Alabama Governor's Race", March 31, 2010
  38. Public Policy Polling, "Byrne, Davis strongest in 2010 polling", March 10, 2010
  39. 270toWin.com, "Alabama Presidential Election Voting History", accessed July 12, 2010