Republicans Maintain Firm Control After Alabama Midterms

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Tech. Sgt. Chris Baldwin, US Air National Guard

Governor Kay Ivey speaks at a press event in December 2017.

Republicans left no doubt about their hold on Alabama politics Tuesday. Republican incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey turned back a challenge from Democrat Walt Maddox. The Republicans kept all statewide offices and won all contested congressional races in Alabama.  We take a look at the election results for Republicans with Jacksonville State University political science professor Lori Owens.

Interview Highlights

Ivey’s low-key campaign strategy and choice not to debate:

“Certain people would have liked to have heard both of their views, but she was ahead in the polls. She had no incentive to debate Walt Maddox. If she had agreed to do that, that would have elevated his status, basically. So they made a strategic decision for her not to debate him and it worked out last night.”

Whether Alabama Republicans would win regardless of the specific candidate:

“I think we’re gonna see that for a while. I think where you’ll see the battles will be in those Republican primary races. But the Republicans will have to be very careful not to overplay their hand. But the Republicans who would be vulnerable would be the incumbent Republicans. Right now they would be more vulnerable to other Republicans who might want to kick them out of office.”

Concerns for Republicans despite their dominance:

“We went from one-party Democrat and very briefly we had a strong two-party system in this state. And now, obviously, we’re very one-party Republican. But success breeds complacency. One-party-ism ultimately breeds some corruption when you don’t have another loyal opposition party that can be the watchful eye on you. The biggest danger right now to Republicans will be they will eventually start fighting among themselves the way the Democrats did when they were the dominant party. The Republicans already do have various factions. So when you don’t have a strong opposing party, you’ve got to have an enemy somewhere and the enemy will be inside the tent, if you will.”

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