By Leslie Ann Black

Over several decades, Alabama has become one of the most reliably Republican states in the country. There is no indication that the state will be anything but Republican anytime soon.

“Alabama is a red state now” said former Democratic U.S. Rep. Glen Browder, currently a Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville State University. “You don’t see any dramatic changes and you won’t see any in the future.”

Nowhere is this assessment more evident than in races for national offices. In the 111th Congress, Alabama sent four Republicans and three Democrats to the U.S. House. In the 2010 race for the 112th Congress, Democrats lost two of these seats, leaving just one Democrat out of seven Alabama Representatives.

The remaining Democrat, Rep. Terri Sewell of the Seventh District, won the seat vacated by Artur Davis prior to his 2010 run for governor. Browder believes, however, that the district  has been drawn to favor Sewell, who is seeking reelection. As this map demonstrates, the seventh district squeezes up to Birmingham, which is primarily Democratic and spreads out through parts of the Black Belt (so named for its soil) west of Montgomery.

“That is a majority-minority district,” Browder said. He also said he would be surprised if any of the Republican incumbents—who are all running for re-election—lost their seats. The sixth district, for example, is one of the most Republican districts in the nation, having favored John McCain in the 2008 presidential election by a 77-22 margin. Its representative, therefore, should continue to be Republican Spencer Bachus, who has held the seat since 1992.

Real Clear Politics, which draws its estimates from several polling organizations, listed Alabama among the 13 states that are “solid” to choose Republican Mitt Romney over President Obama.

The state chief justice and the president of the Public Service Commission are the only offices elected statewide that are contested in the general election, while all positions uncontested or not up for election are held by Republicans.

Roy Moore, the GOP candidate for chief justice, was removed from this same position nearly a decade ago when he refused to follow a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of a state building. Interestingly, according to the Associated Press, Roy Moore is the only Republican in Alabama backed by the Democratic American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, which cited Moore’s ability to stand up for the average Joe. The AFL-CIO, however, disagrees with his opposition to separation of church and state. Moore appears favored to win the election over Democrat Robert Vance.

Governor Robert Bentley, on the other hand, has caused no uproar, according to Browder.  Bentley, a medical doctor who spent a year in the state House of Representatives, ran on a promise of no new taxes.  Though he has delivered on that, he ran into trouble after putting a bailout of the state budget to a vote. The September 17 referendum passed by a 2-1 margin in favor of dipping into the Alabama Trust Fund rather than cutting 12 percent of spending in several areas of state government, including health care and social services. Browder said the amendment passed because the damage of a poorly balanced budget had already been done and the voters saw no other choice.

“The general consensus was that they didn’t want to cut services and they didn’t want to raise taxes,” said Browder.

“This is the first time we’ve had a Republican governor and a Republican legislature since the Reconstruction Era,” Browder explained. “They have not solved the problems, but people are satisfied.”


Press and State

The Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, and Mobile’s Press-Register, three of the state’s largest newspapers, are all owned by Advance Digital Technologies and consequently share a website.

Among small-city community newspapers, The Anniston Star stands out for its comprehensive coverage of the state and city.

Notable columnists from this group include:

John Archibald. Blog:

Dr. Jess Brown, a past student of Browder, often writes for the Huntsville Times and tends to give a liberal perspective:

In addition, Dana Beyerle of the Tuscaloosa News used to write for the New York Times,



Republican state party page

Democratic state party page

State Senate

State House of Representatives



Governor: Richard Bentley (R). Elected in 2010.


Lieutenant Governor: Kay Ivey (R) Elected in 2010.


Attorney General: Luther Strange (R) Elected in 2010.


Treasurer: Young J. Boozer (R) Elected in 2010.


Auditor: Samantha Shaw (R) Elected in 2006.


Secretary of State: Beth Chapman (R) Elected in 2006.


Superintendant: Tommy Bice, Non-partisan. Appointed in 2011.

Department of Education




US Senator Richard Shelby (R), serving 1987 to present. Next election: 2016.


Notable: Former Democrat. Switched parties in 1994.

US Senator Jeff Sessions (R), serving 1997 to present. Next election: 2014.




Alabama State Supreme Court website

Note: All eight justices are Republican. Chief Justice Charles Malone was appointed by Governor Bentley after Democrat Sue Bell Cobb stepped down in 2011 for personal reasons.