Politics & Commentary
Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times

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Hail, hail, the gang's all here:
An election panorama

The Mobile Bay Times called on an array of contacts in and around the political arena for their thoughts as a potentially momentous Election Day nears.

"(Incumbent GOP Gov. Bob) Riley 59-41. Luther and Folsom within three points ... not sure who wins. Troy King by three points. The CJ (chief justice) race too close to call ... also the polls are so wildly divergent that I have no feel. Still, if I were forced to bet, I would say Drayton (Nabers). All other Repubs in state court races win. In the Herrington-Naman race, I have seen no polling. My guess is that Naman wins. But this will be an interesting race to watch. If Herrington can't win, it shows how difficult a local Dem's prospects are. In the local state senate races, I think that both are so close that it would be foolish to call them. I kinda think the Dems could lose both ... the Dems were ahead, but Brooks has pulled into a slight lead and McMillan's district favors a Repub. Still, I am not going to be shocked if the Dems pull out at least one if not both. (Political consultant) Steve Raby has done a great job for Tanner. 

I am too depressed in the national races to make predictions ... too much like guessing one's own time and date of death."
-- APZ, attorney/lobbyist

"The only thing I know for sure is that everyone in this state will be very glad to see this election over with and all of the negative ads gone. I believe this has been one of the ugliest elections across the board in quite a while. On the less certain front, I believe that most of the Republican candidates will prevail in the contested races. However, the AG, Juvenile Judge and State Senate (No. 35) races are all too close to call."
-- DMT, Mobile attorney

"Tough to do other than the Governor's race. We are seeing fairly dramatic swings down ballot.

Ok
Riley by 14 over Baxley
Big Luther narrowly defeats Folsom 1 or 2 points
Troy beats Tyson by 4 to 5 points
Nabers-Cobb is a dead heat. Whoever wins will be razor thin but I can't help but think turnout bounce will push Nabers over the top.
All other Repub Sup Ct candidates handily defeat opponents.
Beth Chapman is beating Worley (thank God)."
-- SLT, attorney

"As of the close of business on Wednesday, the Absentee Ballot Manager had received 2,824 requests for absentee ballots. Approximately 500 of these related to active duty members of the military or their dependents, to whom ballot materials were sent, but said materials were returned undelivered.  Approximately 1,200 absentee ballots have been returned as of the close of business on Wednesday. These figures are significantly less than expected and indicate that there will be low voter turnout on Tuesday."
-- Don Davis, probate judge of Mobile County

"Riley, Strange, King, Ivey, Shaw and Chapman win statewide races on the R side. Sparks, Cook and Parker win statewide races on the D side. Judicial races go all R except for the Chief Justice race which is just too close to call. Cobb may upset there. Locally, incumbents Tanner and Lindsey lose in close, very expensive Senate races to Brooks and McMillan. Nationally, Rs lose House and Senate."
-- LWI, Baldwin County public official

I think (Mobile County District Attorney John) Tyson could win. Of course, in north Baldwin County, the hottest race is John McMillan and Pat Lindsey. Think it will be real close but I don’t think John can win as a Republican in that district. He’s an old family friend and in my opinion, would do a great job.

Sue (Bell Cobb) is going to run a tight race but I don’t think she can overcome Nabers statewide."
-- PDT, former Baldwin County officeholder 

"Unfortunately, Riley’s coattails are not going to be as long as the Republicans originally thought. A couple of my partners were in B’ham last week and ran into two Supreme Court justices. They said that Nabers’ numbers were not that great, and they were worried. Don’t be surprised if Cobb pulls it off, and maybe John England. I think Troy will beat Tyson – not by much though. Locally, I have a gut feeling Tanner beats Ben, and Naman beats Herrington. The race that it the most important to me is Lt. Governor. I do not want to go back in time 20 years and have Folsom in State government. Riley and Strange can move this State to the next level. I don’t think Riley gets as much done if Folsom wins."
-- FPD, Republican attorney

"The national polls show the Democrats doing well, but we live in the black hole called Alabama where everything seems to work out opposite. It's really a toss up at this point and talking to people gives mixed signals. Alabama may buck the national trend or go along with it. However, on a national level, I believe the Democrats will win back control of the House.

I think (Democratic gubernatorial nominee) Lucy (Baxley) will do better than polls are showing, but not sure she will win. There are a number of staunch Republicans disgruntled with the Riley tax issue that will be casting protest votes for her that I'm not sure people are counting on. Senate 35 and the Juvenile Judge race will be the two closest. Maybe a little too close, requiring the candidates to be up all night counting votes. The statewide judicial races are about as mixed as can be.

I do feel pretty certain Tyson will defeat King, especially after the debate Monday. I could be fooling myself though.

Politics not only makes for strange bedfellows, but strange outcomes as well. Having majored in Poli Sci in school, I have come to learn polls are about as useful as heavy parkas in a Mobile winter and the only one that matters is the one that comes out when the polls close. Should be an entertaining Tuesday, especially with the new voting machines."
-- TPO, Democratic attorney

"Brooks wins by 6 or more;
McMillan wins by 2 or 3;
Orr wins by 6 or more;
Jim Ingram wins by 5 or more, thus giving Republicans four additional seats.

Stout v Barron; Bill Ingram v Mitchem; Reynolds v Mitchell; Sachs v Zeb Little are all close but no Republican leads four days out. However, all are within eight to 12 points, and ALL FOUR DEMOCRAT INCUMBENTS ARE BELOW 50. Undecideds usually break against incumbents. The bad news is that the odds are still four to one against the Republicans. The good news is there are four, so we pick up one.

Two surprises: Dwight Adams v Jimmy Holly has gotten very close.  Peggy Martin v Ted Little is also close (Little's re-elect has fallen from 56 to 42 in two weeks), so I predict we win one of these two.

Bottom line is: worst possible is we win three, and likely we win five or six. If Riley wins by 15 or more, coattails could win up to eight senate seats. 

If Republicans win six seats we are very likely to switch at least two Dems to attain outright Republican control, 50/50 shot if we have five of switching three. With at least four though, we will have enough to "organize with the conservative Dems," and will have filibuster power to stop anything with Budget Isolation Resolutions.

I am much less up to speed in the House, but looks like we lose one or two incumbent Republicans, and pick up four to eight incumbent Democrats' seats for a net gain of two to six seats."
-- RTP, businessman/GOP strategist

"Riley, Folsom, King, Cobb, Tanner, Lindsey."
-- LMS, GOP real estate developer

"Alabama: Riley - Governor; Folsom - Lt. Gov.; King- Atty. Gen.

Nationally, the Democrats will have a very successful day, which will allow Democrats to regain control of the Congress. A Democratic Congress will allow for the first time in the history of the U.S. for a woman and members of color to chair some very powerful committees.

Nancy Pelosi -- Speaker of the House;

Jose’ Serranoto will possibly chair the Appropriations Sub-committee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary.

Chaka Fattah will possibly chair the Appropriations Sub-committee on the District of Columbia.

Mobile native Sanford Bishop could become the chair of the Appropriations Sub-committee on Military Construction.

Lynn Woolsey will possibly chair the Education and Workforce sub-committee on Education Reform.

Ruben Hinojosa will possibly chair the Education and Workforce sub-committee on Select Education

Major Owens will possibly chair the Education and Workforce sub-committee on Workforce Protections.

The Education and Workforce Committee will be chaired by George Miller, one of the authors of No Child Left Behind legislation. In a Democrat-led House more money will be appropriated to school districts to assist with the implementations of NCLB and this law will be up for reauthorization in 2007. I am sure Democrats will make some major revisions to the law.

Veteran Congressman John Conyers from Detroit will chair the House Judiciary Committee; and veteran Charlie Rangel, who represents Harlem, will chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Nydia Velazquez will become the Chair of the House Small Business Committee.

Just a few of my unscientific predictions."
-- HSM, former Democratic officeholder

"Here goes:

Riley in a landslide -- Baxley has had the poorest run campaign in my memory.

Folsom by 1% point. Riley’s coattails won’t be that long and the lobbyist problem, sending jobs overseas will hurt “Big” Luther, plus he never talks in his own ads.

Tyson/King is a pick ‘em, but Tyson may win with the DA’s Association swinging the vote.

Sue Bell Cobb could edge out Drayton -- same reason as Lt. Governor. Nabers never talks and is a bad campaigner. He is, apparently, a good man who would, if he knew they existed, care about the everyday man.

Murdoch will likely beat England because of $$$$$.

The other appeal court races are anybody’s guess — the drop off in # of votes from the big three could be 20 points.

Locally:
Herrington and Naman will come down to the very last boxes — just don’t know.

Tanner will beat Brooks.

Cochran could win 80/20.

Lindsey/McMillan will be resolved in a duel at 20 paces.

Nancy Worley will, and should, lose.

The others — who cares?

Nationally, Democrats and Republicans will split the ownership of Congress. Kerry’s comments will cost the Democrats (control of) both houses.

Shortly after the elections, the mothers of the candidates will wash their mouths out with soap and send them to bed without supper.

2008 early prediction — Obama v. McCain."
-- PLA, Democratic lawyer

"Please read while doing your best impersonation of the SNL Chicago Bears Guys: “Look, Bob Riley is like Mike. Mike who? Mike Ditka!  So da winner is . . . ?
Da Bob 10,000,342; Lucy Baxley 2.”

Riley over Baxley, 69 – 31;.
Strange over Folsom, 53 – 47;
King over Tyson, 55 – 45
Nabers over Cobb, 51 – 49

GOP sweeps other statewide judicial races.

Locally GOP sweeps Sheriff, Circuit Clerk, Juvenile Judge.

Lindsey survives over McMillan and the Brooks/Tanner race ends up in the courts. Margin will be so tight that one or both will fire off the challenge almost immediately. Should make the canvassing board meeting the following Tuesday a real media event when the provisional ballots are counted.

Republicans do not gain control of the Legislature but they do set the stage for it to happen in four years.
-- THA, GOP lawyer

"I think Sam (Cochran) will win the Sheriff's race.

I find the Brooks/Tanner contest interesting. (Not referring to the adv.).
It is so difficult to oust an incumbent. I doubt anyone but a candidate with Brooks' name recognition could make Tanner sweat.

The Lindsey/McMillan race is another close call. Lindsey is getting megabucks from Paul Hubbert and the AEA and McMillan still doesn't seem to fade out. If Lindsey pulls it out it will only be because of that AEA Pac money.
 
I am also surprised at how well the Dems are doing in the statewides, i.e., Folsom Jr. and Tyson. King projected too much of a youthful, weakish demeanor for too long and let Tyson get a foothold. Then, the Dem machine really poured the money into battle.

Strange seemed to just let Folsom take over with the repeated theme of being in the backpocket of the utes. I don't think Big Luther ever overcame that label. It was really the only thing Little Jim had to offer, other than his four shotguns and hunting dawgs.

As we all know, it depends on who gets their vote out: Dems have more to lose than Republicans, it seems to me. I mean, the control of the statehouse could turn in this election.

Now the supremes are a whole 'nother ballgame which would take a lot of your time and space to discuss. Drayton Nabers better hope for a massive GOP turnout."
-- GDR, retired advertising exec

"For what it’s worth …

Baldwin County races all go to Republicans, with the exception of Lindsey/McMillan, which goes to Lindsey.

Statewide:
Riley by a mile.

Big Luther by a nose.

Sue Bell Cobb by a nose.

King/Tyson --Your guess is as good as mine. Jump ball."
-- WJE, Baldwin County attorney

"On the road for the Democratic Senate campaigns.

Kerry or not, it looks pretty good.

Brown-Testor-Cardin-Casey-Whitehorse, all look like sure winners.

Ford-Menendez-McCaskill - it seems unlikely that all will lose. If I had to guess -- Menendez and Ford or McCaskill. (Net two seats) is likely."
-- LHH, Democratic attorney

"I think most voters are sick of the negative ads which have flooded the media. If that is correct,  getting out the vote will be the key."
-- JTY, retired legislator

"Brooks wins. Ben is polling two or three points ahead. More importantly, Gary is only polling around 40%. If an incumbent is below 50% in the final few days, it is difficult for the incumbent to hold on.

Sam Cochran wins easily.

(Jamie) Ison and (Chad) Fincher cruise to easy (House) victories.

Gov. Riley wins in a landslide (at least 10 points).

Troy King holds on. Strange and Folsom is a toss up (I personally think that Folsom has run the best media of any candidate in any race, with Sue Bell Cobb a close second).

Final prediction, Sue Bell Cobb defeats Drayton Nabers.

Also, Republicans gain seats in both the state house and senate, but gaining a majority in either may be out of reach."
-- KJP, legislator

"Sue Bell may be our next chief justice. I think Tanner will win.
Tyson\King?
Strange over Folsom barely.
Stout by a whisker.
Herrington over Naman."
-- FRR, Mobile lawyer

Herrington 55 Naman 45
Tanner 53  Brooks 47
Cochran 65  Tew  35
Tyson 52  King 48
Folsom 55  Strange 45
Bonner 68  Beckerle 32
Riley 60  Baxley 40
Lindsey 51  McMillan  49
Cobb 54  Nabers 46
-- TSS, Democratic Party official

"I am a frustrated voter that will hopefully be voting for the lesser evil in many of the races, if there such a thing.

Governor -- Riley 55-45. Short coat tails and a lot of people that will hold their noses and some that will not vote for him at all.

Lt.Gov. -- Big Luther at the buzzer and only because he can still hit a jump shot. Ironic that Little Jim will get beat by someone taller than his dad. Folsom's ads have been good.

Treasurer -- Kay Ivey -- she has enough of the FOB good ole boy in her.

AG- Joooooohhhhhhnnnn Tyyyyyyysssssssooooonnnnn

Ag & Industry -- Sparks

Sec. of State -- Chapman.

State Auditor -- Samantha Shaw -- good base and everyone knows you need a Republican as Auditor.

Courts -- I have always said that the key to tort reform was electing good judges. The republican judges have done a good job in that regard.

Chief Justice -- Nabers in a close one. He's done everything religiously except put the Ten Commandments on the wall. It would be very ironic and to some degree justice if the voters understand the hypocrisy of his campaign considering the lack of support of the Riley Administration for Roy Moore.

PSC -- Perry Hooper because of his father and his opponent.

Baldwin County -- Republican sweep.

Senate 32 -- Lindsey in a close one if he doesn't have a wreck before Tuesday.

Mobile County -- I think Tanner will be re-elected because of a good campaign strategy and execution. We need Ben Brooks in office somewhere, he is a good guy.

Congress -- Bonner 60-40. Iraq, borders and budgets big issues.  Another nose holder.

US Congress -- Republicans hammered, may lose control.  The revolution is officially declared dead. Cause of death - SUICIDE. Morally and fiscally.

US Senate -- Republicans lose several seats; maintain slim control. 

President -- Maybe we can elect Bush President of Iraq in a special election. Mission Accomplished, No Mission IMPOSSIBLE.

Happy voting."
-- PEC, Baldwin County businessman

"I hope there will be a great turn out on Tuesday that surprises all of us.

I predict:

Riley 58
Baxley 42

Luther will win by the slightest margin. King will win. Drayton and Sue Bell too close to call. Brooks by a hair. Lindsey back in."
-- OUMc, real estate exec & GOP backer

"None (thoughts/predictions) that haven't been exhausted.

Hopes-
Brooks destroys Tanner
Tyson squeaks by King

All purely selfish reasons!"
-- KGE, business consultant

"Riley is a done deal. A strong turn out for Riley will probably pull Folsom and Strange to the wire otherwise I think Folsom will take it. The 27 DA endorsements may have come a little late for Tyson but I will still take him based on his clever “I fight Crime” commercials. This will also be a nail biter. On the upset side, I am going to take Sue Bell Cobb 53% to 47% over Nabers. People just are not as riled up about the Supremes given the Republican dominance. Cobb will prevail on name recognition/judicial experience in the end. Most people still think Roy Moore is the Chief Justice. I think the Republicans will take all the other judicial slots. (Susan) Parker may be the one other Dem to pull it off in the statewide races. (Nancy) Worley can pack up her SUV. I’ll take Tanner over Brooks based on the strong links by Tanner of Brooks to insurance companies. Finally, a group more hated than trial lawyers. Lindsey is in trouble and the Repubs will surprisingly pull off this upset despite having a goober like McMillan as their candidate. Naman wins over Herrington in a squeaker based on the DA experience/family name recognition/the Catholic factor and a rally of Repub outreach for Naman stepping up to the plate. Jo Jo will blow away (Marsha Guy) for Circuit Clerk in the 58% to 42% range. On the National scene, the Dem’s will gain a strong lock on the House and fall three shy of taking the Senate."
-- BBW, Democratic attorney

"Riley 62%
Baxley 38%

Strange 51%
Folsom  49%

King/ Tyson -- too close to call — John has run a really good campaign.

Nancy Worley ousted -- very close race.

Nabers 52%
Cobb    48%

Naman  52%
Herrington 48%

Schwarzauer 55%
Guy 45%

Brooks/Tanner -- Brooks wins in a razor thin election — 50% + a few votes.

What the heck do I know anyway??
-- BAL, GOP officeholder

"Big gains in the state senate. 5, 6 or 7 seats net gain. A total of 19 could happen, though not likely.You heard it here first!"
OTH, state GOP

"The numbers I'm hearing from several different sources -- I've been in Montgomery since Wednesday -- and they are absolutely convinced -- the only thing for sure is that numbers can change in a 24-hour period; they can change in a two hour period -- but the word has it that the Republicans across the board have picked up upward over the last 72 hours as we speak. Does it go back to the John Kerry comment or just (disenchanted) Republicans coming home, I don't know. I saw the data from one of the quote 'well-known predictors' unquote that the Democrats were home at a high rate, 90 percent, while the Republicans were 'home' at 75 percent now 78 percent and coming up day-by-day, a point a day. If the Republicans turn out, if the work by Bush across the country in the last week of the campaign and if the John Kerry thing continues to drive conservatives home or encourages them to participate despite their disappointment with (disgraced former U.S. Rep Mark) Foley and other concerns, the combination of those things indicates the Republican may be rebounding.

I spoke with a lobbyist about a legislative matter and he said polling showed Ben Brooks ahead of Tanner by 12 points. But I wouldn't schedule a victory party. You don't schedule a victory party. The people will decide and you don't know that until the votes are cast. You throw an election night party.

Word is that the African-American turnout is not happening. While Siegelman put a lot of money on the street and it made a huge difference, that has not happened in this election. But you never count your chickens before they hatch.

Brooks' TV advertising has been the talk of the state. Absolutely outstanding. The ice cream licking one was pretty powerful. But the one on the Legislature and the insurance study (asserting that Tanner offered) no ideas, no nothing. Katrina didn't happen yesterday. You've been in the Senate all this time and just now you've discovered something needs to be done? That's a powerful argument for Brooks."

Troy King is in a tight race. Someone in the know much more than I am said that ad (the woman whose mother was murdered and turned to the attorney general's office alleging that Tyson was dragging his feet in prosecuting the case) will be one of the 10 best in this election season. That's out of thousands of races and judged by the people who are trying to improve on their ability to obtain results. The tone of her voice and her appearance was an absolute attention getter. If Troy King wins that race, he can give a lot of credit to John not being on top of that. Two years for an indictment to come? You're talking about a distraught family. She called King and King took it from there."

"50-50 McMillan and Lindsey. John McMillan has rallied into a tie. Pat has done the best job responding to McMillan's advertising. Lindsey didn't vote on a resolution to support the troops: Lindsey comes back and says I wore the uniform. The attack on his driving and not having a current tag: McMillan might be a better driver but he'll never be a better senator than I am."

(In the juvenile judgeship race,) I think Naman has got that in the bag. I don't think it will be close. But it could depend on the turnout in the minority community. Naman brings something to the polls that is significant: the Catholic community."
-- PO'C, GOP officeholder  

"Republican sweep, except for attorney general. Nationally, Dems will pick up some seats."
-- JBE, Baldwin County roadbuilder

Riley     56%
Baxley  44

Strange 53
Folsom 47

Tyson   52
King     48

Tanner  51
Brooks 49
PS2, Democrat/marketing exec

"Congressman Bonner and Gov. Riley will win. Beyond that, it seems it's a moving target on the national scene. My personal opinion is that the Republican candidates will do a little better than the general media predicts (and apparently hopes). The Senate stays Republican by a hair with the House leaning Democratic. As you know, historically mid-term elections are always bad for the President's party and this year should be no exception. I think the Democrats would probably be stronger if the  public wasn't so scared of the leaders/Chairmen who will step in place if they win."
-- EKT, Mobile attorney

Riley in a cakewalk, but look for Big Daddy to pick up some votes: www.backbigdaddy.org

Lt. Gov’s race too close to call, but I’ll go out on a limb and give it to Luther Strange.

Drayton Nabers stays on as chief justice.

Tanner stays in office in a squeaker.

Cochran sails to easy victory.

Naman becomes the new juvenile court judge.

Jo Bonner and Jamie Ison tag team to send down the mother-daughter team of Vivian Beckerle and Amy Beckerle Smith.
-- FXT, advertising/political consultant

" I originally thought that the Republicans were going to have a clean sweep this time. But now I think that Tyson has a really good shot, I like his ads and the endorsements of the newspapers around the state is pretty strong. I think this whole King looks like a baby and Tyson fights crime is pretty effective. Although, I think John should have got his brother Richard the actor, to appear in his commercials to get the female vote. You know, "I played in  "kindergarten cop" - John Tyson is no kindergarten cop- he Fights Crime!

I also think that Little Jim did pretty good in the debate and he may give Big Luther a run for his money. I think the "big money lobbyist" ads hurt Strange, but that may just be me. (I think lobbying is legalized bribery). But after all, he is tall.

Drayton has money, but looks weird. Sue Bell has pretty good commercials and I like her voice. (Could lose a little weight though)

Aubrey Ford has worked really hard, but I don't know if it will be enough

I hope that Claude Patton wins. Kellie Wise is attractive, but I have a problem with an appellate court judge deciding trial issues in capital cases, when she has never tried a case.

Worley is squirrelly, and I don't know anyone who she has not pissed off. Chapman will win.

Riley can't lose.

You think that I could get the DA's job if Tyson wins?
-- LEO, Mobile attorney

"U.S. House of Representatives: Jo Bonner over (Vivian) Beckerle #1. Jo's expertise is constituent services and is great at helping those who call on him for help and listens to them on important votes.
 
Governor:  Riley walks away and actually has some coattails which after Amendment One I would have bet the farm on the opposite happening. He has done a great job of moving on and mending fences. I believe history will show that he is the finest governor this state has ever had. That is not an accident.
 
Lt. Gov:  Flip a coin, although Luther Strange has done a poor job of campaigning. Looks like he went to the Wallace 101 School of thinking your name and a bunch of TV will fix a problem. But, he's even money with Folsom's negatives. All I keep hearing in my head is the line from the Poltergeist Movie....."Their baacckkkk!"
 
Atty. Gen: Troy King has poor support among the party faithful. Guess it depends on straight ticket voters and the help of John Kerry's "misinterpreted" remarks to stir the base as a reminder about how Democrats really think when they are left to just talking. Tyson is even calling Republicans and asking for their private votes not that we would do so. If King wins, we hope he will notice our less than happy absence and figure out why. He could take a page out of Gov. Riley's book on how to successfully do this. King pulls it out.

Sec. of State: Beth Chapman is one of the most qualified and on fire candidates we have ever had. Contrast that with Worley's arrogance, repeated mistakes, and incompetence there will be a new woman in that office.
 
Supreme Court: Sue Bell Cobb might edge out Nabers, but again we'll see if John Kerry's words will hurt the Democrats which is ironic because Ms. Cobb gave Mr. Kerry money for his 2004 Presidential run. Her ads were the best of the season, although singing "This Little Light of Mine" in the background has nothing to do with her liberal ways on the issues. If that "light" really did shine on her liberal thinking she wouldn't have a chance. Shows the power of a 30 second paid ad by slick media consultants. Straight party ticket voting might save Nabers.
 
The Senate could pick up 4-6 seats with the premiere races here in Mobile County with Ben Brooks and John McMillan. It will be great fun to watch Mr. Brooks aggravate, shake up, ask the hard questions, and then loudly share the real story with us on what is going on in Montgomery. His city council seat was just a 'warm up' compared to the havoc he is about to inflict upon Montgomery. It will be a nice change.
 
House: Ison over (Amy) Beckerle (Smith) #2 in a landslide. Seeing that Ms. Beckerle is a liberal and thinks we should 'share' everything with each other even if one doesn't earn it themselves, Ms. Ison could give her half of her votes and Ison would still walk away without breaking a sweat.
 
Locally:
 
Juv. Judge: Edmond Naman. If just his family shows up it'll be a landslide! For a candidate that only had several weeks, he has worked as hard if not harder than candidates who have had four years to campaign. Not sure if he even sleeps!
 
Sheriff: Cochran over (Matt) Tew. Sheriff races bring out some fighting folks! Sam's army of volunteers, experience, and hard working reputation will place that badge on his chest permanently for four more years. Dems, once again, shot themselves (no pun intended) in the foot over the Gray/Ulmer/Tew debacle. Barney Fife, where are you when they need you?
-- REO, GOP activist

"Tight races everywhere no doubt. While the following races are within the margin of error as of Thursday nights tracking. I believe it will all come down to voter turn out and this is how I see it: Riley's lead has hurt R's down ballot. There is no urgency, no concern -- don't bother voting, Riley has won. Add to that the national picture of Bush's numbers and the perception of the Republican Party tanking (and yes this can be seen in 'red meat' Alabama, too). Then finally look to the gross negativity in the Lt. Gov., Chief Justice, Att. Gen. and local senate races. All of this in my mind sends Republican numbers lower than they have been in two cycles.

For Republicans there is one comforting note and that is Lucy Baxley. As someone said, she is like a wet string, you can't push it or pull it!
This along with the absence of any threatening issues is going to make it very hard for D's to hit their number as well.

On the local level, kudos to the Juvenile Court candidates who have run solid, issue and positive character races. And kudos to Raby/Heartsill who have created a solid set of issues for Senate 35 (and have forced Brooks into a negative tirades against Tanner which has hurt his numbers among women).

With most of these races being in the margin, the weather forecast for the state showing rain in several areas, and voter turn out being almost totally apathetic, one would be as likely to flip a coin and be right as to study the numbers. However, here are my predictions:

Cobb over Nabors
Strange over Folsom
King over Tyson
Tanner over Brooks
Lindsey over McMillian
and at least one of those goes into automatic recount.

Riley in the Governor's Race
Jojo in the Clerks race
Edmond Naman in the Juvenile Judge Race
-- KTR, political strategist

"Local:  Naman, Stout, Tanner, Bonner, of course
State: Riley, Strange, King -- 2 points close; Nabers, Murdock, in fact all Rep's on Sup. Ct.
Jan Cook still ekes out a win!!!!!!!"
-- GHU, Mobile judge

"The governor will win big -- 8 points or more. This will payoff down the ballot with the GOP taking all judicial and constitutional offices.  The King vs. Tyson race will be tight as will the Nabers vs. Cobb race, but at the end of the night I think the governor's win will provide enough of a bump to put King and Nabersover the top. Nancy Worley will be gone. I see Ben Brooks winning by a surprising margin and John McMillan will squeak by Pat Lindsey. There are other incumbents that may be in for a long night including Wendell Mitchell and Ted Little. I think that due to gerrymandering the Democrats will keep the State House and Senate, but the GOP will close the gap and you will see several new faces in the next legislature. On the national level there will be fights and recounts in Ohio, Indiana etc. but the Republicans will control both houses of Congress, but it will be very tight. While in Alabama all the members of the congressional delegation both GOP and DEM win big. Jo Bonner should pull 60% or more."
-- ESR, Eastern Shore businessman

"Brooks 54%, Tanner 46%;
Naman 57%, Herrington 43%;
Fincher 75%, Johnson 25%;
Riley 63%, Baxley 37%;
Strange 58%, Folsom 42%;
Hooper 60%, Parker 40%;

Republicans hold both houses in an unbelevaible comeback after the last few weeks and Kerry's blunder."
-- MCH, local GOP officeholder

I really have not kept my ear to the ground much.

I am very hopeful that Jo Jo (Schwarzauer) will win Circuit Court Clerk. She should! I think she would do a great job and we need a good, strong clerk. That office has so much to do.

What do you hear about Brooks-Tanner and King-Tyson?

I am told that King did better than perhaps was expected in the debate. YOU must have watched the debates. Right?

Between Kerry and Limbaugh the “national” scene is interesting. This will be a very interesting election for sure. I am curious to see how things turn out."
-- BRC, area judge

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