Republican tidal wave engulfed Alabama

Published 3:03 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

The Republican tidal wave that engulfed Alabama last Tuesday was profound and overwhelming. It was more like a tsunami. The magnitude is resounding and will result in devastating and long-term ramifications for the Democratic Party in Alabama.

The storm wiped out every statewide Democrat on the ballot. There is not one single Democratic constitutional officeholder left standing in Alabama. Even the best thoroughbred in the Democratic stable, Jim Folsom Jr., was put down. He put up a gallant effort losing only by a 48 to 52 margin. However, in the end he was laid to rest with the rest of the Democratic Party.

The red GOP wave was created by a repulsive disdain for the national Democratic leadership and agenda. It resulted in a nightmarish and unprecedented loss of 60 Democratic seats to Republicans nationwide. Two of which were in Alabama. You know if voters are fed up in Ohio with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, they are definitely seeing red in Alabama. In fact, you could almost see the fire in the eyes of white conservative Alabamians when they arrived at their polling places last week. They simply voted the straight Republican ticket as though it were 1964 all over again.

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The old adage that all politics is local went by the wayside. This tsunami was fueled by the average suburban and rural Alabamians’ disenchantment with Barack Obama and his spendthrift liberal agenda. Voters were more than disenchanted. They were mad as hell and the results were devastating. White Alabamians voted in record numbers but the black turnout was abysmally low. This combination was the recipe for a perfect storm of disaster and destruction for any hapless Democrat seeking statewide, congressional, or legislative office in the state.

Dr. Robert Bentley won a 58 to 42 landslide over two-term Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks. Bentley, a retired 66-year-old Tuscaloosa physician, has served two terms in the legislature. He will inherit a ship of state that is practically sinking. His arrival in office in January will be analogous to walking onto the deck of the Titanic.

Republican two-term State Treasurer Kay Ivey will be the new lieutenant governor. She will be joined by an all GOP slate of constitutional state officials.

Big Luther Strange, a six-foot nine-inch Birmingham lawyer and lobbyist, bested Montgomery lawyer James Anderson by a 59 to 41 margin to become attorney general.

John McMillan won the agriculture commissioner post by a 60 to 40 margin over his Democratic challenger Glen Zorn.

Young Boozer beat his Democratic opponent Charley Grimsley by the same 60 to 40 landslide numbers in the race to become state treasurer.

Incumbent GOP Secretary of State Beth Chapman and incumbent State Auditor Samantha Shaw trounced their Democratic challengers by 62 to 38 margins.

Republicans Kelli Wise, Mike Bolin and Tom Parker were overwhelmingly elected to the three seats on the State Supreme Court. Our Supreme Court remains eight Republicans and one Democrat. Republicans hold all 12 of our Appellate Court seats.

Our congressional delegation is now made up of six Republicans and one Democrat.  Terri Sewell won the Democratic seat held by Artur Davis. She became the first female elected to congress from Alabama early in the night. However, by midnight she was joined by 32- year-old Martha Roby of Montgomery, who squeaked out a victory over one-term Democrat Bobby Bright. Bright’s two-year hold on the 2nd District congressional seat was uprooted by the GOP tidal wave. The Republicans garnered back this southeast Alabama seat that had been in the GOP column for 44 years prior to Bright’s two-year hiatus.

Possibly the most telling and historic congressional victory for the GOP may have been the capture of the 5th District Tennessee Valley seat by Republican Mo Brooks. This is the first time since Reconstruction that a Republican has won this seat.

In addition, the anti-Obama Republican straight ticket voting last Tuesday flipped the State Senate and the State House from a Democratic to Republican majority. The last time this occurred was at the end of Reconstruction rule in 1876.

See you next week.

Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His column appears weekly in 72 Alabama newspapers. Steve served 16 years in the state legislature. He may be reached at