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| | |-+  Can Democrats make a comeback in Alabama?
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Author Topic: Can Democrats make a comeback in Alabama?  (Read 468 times)
old timey villain
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« on: August 10, 2014, 03:23:57 pm »
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Just spent the summer in Alabama interning at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a very progressive non profit down in Montgomery. The people I worked with had resigned themselves to the idea that the state will never elect progressive politicians and the only way to change things is by suing the pants off of statewide agencies and forcing them to reform their practices.

Alabama and Georgia are pretty similar, except for Atlanta, which has created a larger base of progressives and minorities to give Dems a shot at winning some races there in the future. Alabama, however, doesn't have a large progressive city to outvote rural areas which have become increasingly conservative.

So if you were trying to create a resurgence for the Democratic party in Alabama, how would you do it if you could?
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Lowly Griff
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 05:11:33 pm »
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Could the Democratic Party make a comeback there? Absolutely. Can progressive Democrats win statewide? Absolutely not.

Comparing AL with GA, we see that GA is about 8 points more Democratic than AL. Georgia happens to be 5 points blacker than AL, with the remainder of the current difference being made up by whites who are (somewhat) more Democratic and a larger Latino/Asian population. Extrapolating growth patterns out over the next decade or two, it's hard to see how AL gets anywhere close to being competitive under the same conditions that GA is enjoying.

The pathway to a competitive two-party system in AL unfortunately will require re-tracking their footsteps along the walkway of history. From what I understand, it's not so much that they've veered away from that original message, but rather that they don't have anyone skilled enough running the on-the-ground operations (with respect to data, precinct organizing, etc) and that the money has dried up. I think a strategy involving AL will have to be sold as a part of a larger Deep South strategy that takes in MS & SC along with GA in order to bring in national dollars from bigger donors. That's where they need to begin: justifying the need to water down Republican dominance in this region (even if we can't win) to take some of the "edge" off of the Republicans' power and influence in national politics. If every Southern state voted like it did in the 1980 presidential election, then the Republicans would be dead in the water.
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IceSpear
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 05:12:21 pm »
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No
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Given her name recognition and the fact that she's admittedly done a good enough job as SoS, this current frontrunner status is natural.

If she's the nominee, I'd probably vote for her, and she'd probably be at least an okay president.
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 05:14:25 pm »
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Start by throwing the Southern Poverty Law Center under the bus. You'd need a Democratic party that at least paid lip-service to cultural considerations in the state. You'd have to chip away at Alabama's Republican base rather than expect a new base to migrate/out-breed the current base as is currently the dream. Mark Warner in VA was good at lip-service, better than most Republicans, which is funny because Warner was a carpet-bagging yankee businessman at first. Knock off a big office as a result of a scandal with a culturally-inoffensive Dem. Grow from there. And stop referring to everyone in the state (at least everyone who disagrees on policy) racist. With the racial cleavages in southern states, demagoging race arbitrarily (like Dees and Potok and the rest of the SPLC) won't do you any favors. If you get one seat back, get that politician to stump for another. Slow growth.
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Vega
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 05:19:17 pm »
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Blackraisin, the problem is that the Democrats who go all right wing and act like Republicans/pay lip service don't win either. If they did, than that Parker Griffith guy would at least be in a competitive race for Governor right now.
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Mr. Illini
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 12:03:26 am »
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It would require a resurgence of Blue Dogs, which is certainly possible. National politics will be Republican in the state for awhile, but moderate Dems in the state can win races when the populace gets frustrated with conditions after years of GOP rule.

It's like asking if Republicans can win in Illinois. Nationally? Nah. When people are frustrated with the local Dems and the Pubs run a more moderate, local Republican? Sometimes.
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 12:15:47 am »
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Not for a while at least
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 07:11:27 am »
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Democrats would need to resurrect the Carter-era "New South" coalition that has not existed since the 1980s. Turning back the calendar does not work.
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 09:48:48 am »
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Well, they could start by putting up a candidate for the senate race.
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dmmidmi
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 10:06:09 am »
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Blackraisin, the problem is that the Democrats who go all right wing and act like Republicans/pay lip service don't win either. If they did, than that Parker Griffith guy would at least be in a competitive race for Governor right now.

I'm not sure that stated policy positions are Parker Griffith's biggest problems as a politician.
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TDAS04
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 10:28:43 am »
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Not in the near future. 
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Maxy
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 04:50:58 pm »
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Blackraisin, the problem is that the Democrats who go all right wing and act like Republicans/pay lip service don't win either. If they did, than that Parker Griffith guy would at least be in a competitive race for Governor right now.

Bobby Bright was able to hold a very competitive race against Martha Roby, even though he was only a two year incumbent in 2010.
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Dixiecrat
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 05:11:03 pm »
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As an Alabama resident, I can say that Democrats could foreseeably pick up Alabama's senate seat if Shelby loses to a Tea Party challenger, a distinct possibility. However, even then this Tea Party challenger would have to be exceptionally gaffe-prone (think Todd Akin on steroids) and weak, Hillary would need to have a relatively strong showing in the state, Black turnout would need to be exceptionally high, and the Democrat's nominee would have to be a very conservative, white, and not named Parker Griffith, as well as capable of winning really (atlas) blue parts of the state. Bobby Bright is the only Dem I could think of who could win if Shelby falls in a primary.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 06:41:16 pm »
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As an Alabama resident, I can say that Democrats could foreseeably pick up Alabama's senate seat if Shelby loses to a Tea Party challenger, a distinct possibility. However, even then this Tea Party challenger would have to be exceptionally gaffe-prone (think Todd Akin on steroids) and weak, Hillary would need to have a relatively strong showing in the state, Black turnout would need to be exceptionally high, and the Democrat's nominee would have to be a very conservative, white, and not named Parker Griffith, as well as capable of winning really (atlas) blue parts of the state. Bobby Bright is the only Dem I could think of who could win if Shelby falls in a primary.

Isn't Bobby Bright a Republican now?
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Vega
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 06:47:22 pm »
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As an Alabama resident, I can say that Democrats could foreseeably pick up Alabama's senate seat if Shelby loses to a Tea Party challenger, a distinct possibility. However, even then this Tea Party challenger would have to be exceptionally gaffe-prone (think Todd Akin on steroids) and weak, Hillary would need to have a relatively strong showing in the state, Black turnout would need to be exceptionally high, and the Democrat's nominee would have to be a very conservative, white, and not named Parker Griffith, as well as capable of winning really (atlas) blue parts of the state. Bobby Bright is the only Dem I could think of who could win if Shelby falls in a primary.

Isn't Bobby Bright a Republican now?

Nope. You might be thinking of Parker Griffith.
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Northeast Assemblyman Sawx
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 06:58:52 pm »
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As an Alabama resident, I can say that Democrats could foreseeably pick up Alabama's senate seat if Shelby loses to a Tea Party challenger, a distinct possibility. However, even then this Tea Party challenger would have to be exceptionally gaffe-prone (think Todd Akin on steroids) and weak, Hillary would need to have a relatively strong showing in the state, Black turnout would need to be exceptionally high, and the Democrat's nominee would have to be a very conservative, white, and not named Parker Griffith, as well as capable of winning really (atlas) blue parts of the state. Bobby Bright is the only Dem I could think of who could win if Shelby falls in a primary.

Isn't Bobby Bright a Republican now?

Nope. You might be thinking of Parker Griffith.

Actually, Bright flirted with running for state senate as a Republican this year, but opted out. Considering Parker Griffith came back to the fold, Bright running in 2016 wouldn't be out of the question, but he won't win.
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andrew_c
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 08:20:14 pm »
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Democrats won't be able to win in Alabama anytime soon unless they swing hard right.
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IceSpear
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 08:36:26 pm »
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As an Alabama resident, I can say that Democrats could foreseeably pick up Alabama's senate seat if Shelby loses to a Tea Party challenger, a distinct possibility. However, even then this Tea Party challenger would have to be exceptionally gaffe-prone (think Todd Akin on steroids) and weak, Hillary would need to have a relatively strong showing in the state, Black turnout would need to be exceptionally high, and the Democrat's nominee would have to be a very conservative, white, and not named Parker Griffith, as well as capable of winning really (atlas) blue parts of the state. Bobby Bright is the only Dem I could think of who could win if Shelby falls in a primary.

Why would the Tea Party primary Shelby? Though I guess it wouldn't be too surprising, considering they primaried Pat Roberts for no reason.
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Given her name recognition and the fact that she's admittedly done a good enough job as SoS, this current frontrunner status is natural.

If she's the nominee, I'd probably vote for her, and she'd probably be at least an okay president.
ElectionsGuy
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2014, 08:37:19 pm »
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No

I know answering with no detail is annoying, but yes, this is the answer.
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