Alabama part of Super Tuesday
Bob Martin, The Alabama Scene
It is been dubbed Super Tuesday ‘08, Super Duper Tuesday, Tsunami Tuesday and other names. But whatever you call it Feb. 5 is a day Alabama, for the first time in recent history, will get a chance to participate in the early decision-making process for the presidential nominees of our two major parties.
The candidates are already flocking in with rallies and advertising.
Twenty-four states are scheduled to hold caucus or primary elections for one or both parties Tuesday, the largest-ever number of primary elections held on one day. The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho (Democrats), Illinois, Kansas (Democrats), Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana (Republicans), New Jersey, New Mexico (Democrats), New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia (Republicans).
The large number of states holding primary elections on Feb. 5 could shorten the period between the first caucus in Iowa, on Jan. 3 and the de facto selection of a party's nominee to just a few weeks. By comparison, only about 1 percent of nominating convention delegates had been selected by early February in the 2000 election cycle, whereas when next Tuesday is over we will see 52 percent of Democratic delegates and 41 percent of Republican delegates awarded.
Huckabee, McCain in a dead heat
National Pollster Scott Rasmussen (Rasmussen Reports) has John McCain and Mike Huckabee tied for the lead in Alabama’s Republican Presidential Primary. McCain and Huckabee each attract 27 percent support while Mitt Romney is a distant third at 15 percent. Rudy Giuliani is the choice for 8 percent while Ron Paul is supported by 3 percent and 20 percent are not sure.
Huckabee attracts support from 37 percent of Evangelical Christians likely to participate in the Primary while McCain leads among other Protestant voters with 32 percent. Huckabee’s close friend and supporter, Montgomery physician Randy Brinson, the chairman of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, helps bolster Huckabee’s support in Alabama.
However, Just 40 percent of the state’s likely primary voters are certain they won’t change their mind before next Tuesday.
In the Rasmussen survey McCain is viewed favorably by 75 percent, Huckabee by 71 percent, Giuliani by 64 percent, Romney by 60 percent and Paul by 23 percent. Rasmussen says McCain is seen as the most electable candidate. Seventy-six percent (76 percent) believe that McCain would be at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated.
Just 59 percent of the Alabama’s primary voters are that confident about Huckabee, 56 percent say the same about Giuliani, and 56 percenthold that view of Romney. Just 12 percent think Paul would have a chance of winning in November if nominated.
Clinton leads Obama by 15 points
On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama by fifteen percentage points. It’s Clinton 43 percent, Obama 28 percent and John Edwards a distant third at 16 percent.
Rasmussen says “in patterns that have become familiar in the Democratic campaign, Clinton does much better in Alabama among women and white voters while Obama does better among men and African-Americans.”
In Alabama, Clinton leads by nineteen points among women and just seven points among men. She trails among African-Americans by a two-to-one margin but leads 58 percent to 9 percent among white voters (Edwards picks up 24 percent of the white vote).
Among likely Democratic primary voters, Clinton is viewed favorably by 76 percent, Edwards by 66 percent, and Obama by 62 percent.
Eighty-nine percent (89 percent) of Alabama’s Likely Democratic Primary voters say that the economy is a very important voting issue. Eighty-six percent (86 percent) say the same about Health Care. Government ethics and corruption is Very Important to 72 percent while 65 percent say the same about Iraq.
President’s numbers not great in state
Although President Bush’s job approval numbers rose a few points in January, it marked the 19th straight month his job approval numbers have dipped under 50 percent.
The USA Survey in Alabama, sponsored by WKRG-TV in Mobile has continually asked this question: “Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President?” The January numbers were No, 53 percent; Yes, 44 percent. Bush’s worst numbers were in June and November of 2007 with 57 percent of those polled disapproving and 41 percent approving. In contrast, Gov. Bob Riley’s approval numbers has constantly been over 60 percent.