The Magazine

Crimson Tide

Alabama goes very, very red.

Nov 22, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 10 • By FRED BARNES
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Bobby Bright, a former mayor of Montgomery, is perhaps the most conservative Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but that didn’t save him. He voted against the stimulus, cap and trade, and Obamacare. Late in the campaign, he announced he wouldn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for House speaker or Democratic leader.

Republican Martha Roby, a member of the Montgomery city council, insisted a conservative record wasn’t sufficient. “It’s just not enough to vote right,” she said. You have to “fight for conservative values” in Washington.

Roby won narrowly, 51-49 percent. But with Republicans in charge of redistricting, they’re sure to draw new lines that make her district more Republican. They’re also certain to undo past Democratic gerry-mandering and make state legislative districts more favorable.

The first clue that Democrats faced a Republican juggernaut in 2010 came in the June primaries. Republicans attracted 173,000 more votes in their primaries than Democrats in theirs. It was the first time in Alabama history that more people voted in the Republican primary.

Gary Palmer, the president of the conservative Alabama Policy Institute, took notice of this at the time. He wrote: “The fact that Democrats suffered a massive (31 percent) loss of primary voters while Republicans gained may indicate the beginnings of a political realignment.” He couldn’t have been more right.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.


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