Race for governor too close to call
Bob Ingram. The Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–This being my last column before
D-Day…Decision Day…you may be expecting a prediction from this writer on who will win the spirited contest for governor.
I know who is going to win but to be perfectly candid the powers that be at this newspaper aren't paying me enough for me to tell you.
I am only joking. Your guess is as good as mine. You have probably seen the most recent polls, one financed by the Alabama Education Association, the other by the Business Council of Alabama.
The AEA poll had it a dead heat…40 percent-40 percent with Libertarian candidate John Sophocleus getting three per cent and 17% undecided.
The BCA poll had Riley leading by a point, 42 percent to 41 percent with Sophocleus getting three per cent and 14 percent undecided.
Perhaps the most significant numbers in these surveys was the number of undecided voters, which in fact has increased in the past fortnight. Normally these numbers drop as election day draws nearer. prediction that can be made–voter turnout will the key. If there is a big turnout Siegelman will likely prevail, a light turnout favors Riley.
The base of the Republican support in Alabama are white conservative voters, from middle-age up. They will vote on election day.
It is up to the Democrats to be certain their core groups also go to the polls en masse–teachers, union members and blacks.
The polls still show Lucy Baxley with a comfortable lead over Bill Armistead in the race for lieutenant governor although the margin is not nearly as great as it is in the Senate and Attorney General races.
While he did not and would not admit it, Bush is probably more interested in seeing Rogers win than Riley. With the GOP holding a paper-thin majority in the U. S. House of Representatives, the Third District seat is of critical importance to Republicans. It was no coincidence that it was Rogers who introduced the President. The bottom line question: Did the President's visit help the campaigns of Riley, Rogers and the other Republicans? For sure, it didn't hurt.