When Republican Bob Riley defeated Democrat incumbent Governor Don Siegelman in 2002, it was the closest gubernatorial contest in
Alabama history. The controversial final margin of 3,000 votes out of 1.35 million cast was only determined after the vote totals from a
malfunctioning voting machine were corrected. Before the correction, Siegelman held the lead, and the Associated Press
actually called the race for him.
No such controversy would surround Riley's re-election bid four years later. He won that election over Democrat Lucy
Baxley by almost 16 points. Ironically, Baxley had to get past Siegelman in the Democratic primary. She won easily as
Siegelman, under indictment for trading government favors for campaign contributions while Governor and Lt. Governor, struggled to
mount a credible run.
Fast-forward to 2010. After two terms in Montgomery, Governor Riley was term-limited and could not run for
re-election. That would not be an issue for the Alabama GOP as the state's ever-reddening makeup provided State
Representative Bob Bentley an easy gubernatorial election victory. He defeated Democrat Ron Sparks, again by almost 16
The 2014 Alabama Governor race promises to be the same kind of comfortable victory for the red team. Governor Bentley
is the overwhelming favorite to earn a second term. There are other declared candidates in this race - Republican Stacy George,
a former county commissioner, and Democrat Kevin Bass, but neither will slow down Bentley's easy cruise to re-election.
Preliminary projection: Solid GOP Hold
You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the
Alabama Governor Election
page for polls, projections and updates. Also, check out the
2014 Governor Elections
page for a summary of all gubernatorial races on tap in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Governor map.
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:20am 01/30/14 :: link