Alabama’s Republican primaries for governor and U.S. Senate on May 24 feature close races.
Democratic candidates rarely prevail in the state, with Alabama’s most recent Democratic governor elected in 1999. Meanwhile, the last time Alabama chose to send a Democrat to the Senate was in a 2017 special election when Republican Roy Moore lost by 1.7 percent after being accused of sexual misconduct.
Currently, the two most contested Alabama races are for governor, and for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Richard Shelby, who is retiring after six terms.
Ivey has led in polling leading up to the GOP primary, but her top two challengers have been gaining enough ground to possibly keep her from reaching 50 percent of the vote. Failing to reach that mark would trigger a runoff election, where Ivey would have to run against the second-place candidate.
In the event of a runoff, Ivey’s most likely opponent is Tim James, an entrepreneur who opposes her increase in gas taxes and her support for creating casinos in the state.
However, undecided voters might give Ivey the edge she needs to avoid a runoff. If the 42 percent of undecided voters who say they lean toward Ivey follow through, she would win the primary with enough votes to also take the general election.
Yolanda Flowers, a teacher and speech pathologist, is likely to win the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, even as polls show a significant number of undecided Democratic voters.
In the GOP Senate primary, the three leading candidates are Katie Britt, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, and former Army pilot Michael Durant, who flew a Black Hawk helicopter that was shot down during the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia.
According to one recent poll, Britt, who is a former aide to Shelby and former head of the Business Council of Alabama, leads the field with 32 percent support; Durant follows with 26 percent, while Brooks is polling at 25 percent. Another poll suggests that Britt has 30.8 percent support, while Brooks follows with 28.5 percent, and Durant has 24.3 percent.
That polling suggests the likelihood of a runoff election.
While Brooks was initially endorsed by Trump, the former president withdrew it because Brooks asked voters to stop focusing on Trump’s 2020 election loss and start focusing on winning the next election.
Both Britt and Durant have sought Trump’s endorsement since then.
Currently, Will Boyd is the leading candidate among Democrats in that party’s Senate primary.
Only one Alabama House district doesn’t have an incumbent. In the 5th Congressional District’s Republican primary, local politician Dale Strong leads in fundraising, followed by Casey Wardynski. The winner there will likely face Democratic primary leader Kathy Warner-Stanton in the general election.