• Schuyler Beltrami

2022 Midterms Preview – Alabama

Updated: Sep 22

The Millennial Agora begins our complete preview of the upcoming midterm elections for Congress with the state of Alabama. A state of over five million people, Alabama is a deeply Republican state in the Deep South (Donald Trump won the state in 2020 by a margin of 26% and no Democratic Presidential candidate has won the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976). In 2022, there will be elections in Alabama for the House of Representatives, Senate, and Governor of the state. Alabama currently has seven seats in the House of Representatives and this number remained unchanged after redistricting in 2020 to reflect changes in the United States’ population. Currently six of the seats are occupied by Republicans and one seat is occupied by a Democrat. Although none of the races for the House, Senate or Governor are competitive due to heavy partisan lean, the state still offers a good insight into how these Midterm races will be ran and operated in November.

The current Alabama House districts. (Photo: Wikipedia)

House of Representatives

Alabama receives seven seats in the House of Representatives and all of these seats will be up for election in November. None of the elections for the House are considered competitive with all districts having a CPVI rating of at least +15 for either party (The CPVI, or Cook Partisan Voting Index, is the main metric to measure the strength of a political party for a particular House district or Senate seat. The measure was created and managed by the non-partisan Cook Political Report and uses historical data, as well as polling, to create the “partisan lean” of each district or state. A CPVI rating of R+15 would mean that on average, Republican candidates win elections in that district or state by an average of 15%, while a rating of D+15 would mean the same thing, but for the Democratic candidate. A district or state with a CPVI with double digits is considered to be non-competitive).


I. AL-01:

A. Current Representative: Jerry Carl (R)

B. Population Distribution: 67% Urban, 33% Rural

C. Demographics: 65% White, 28% African American, 3% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+16 (Solid Republican)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 1st District is centered on the very southern portion of the state, with the city of Mobile as its largest city. The district is bordered to the east by Florida, to the west by Mississippi and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico. The current Representative, Jerry Carl, is a one-term Representative, only being in the House since 2020. In that election he defeated his Democratic challenger by 27%. In a district which has been controlled by Republicans since 1963, there is almost no chance of the Republican candidate losing this election. Rep. Carl’s only opponent is Alexander Remrey, candidate for the Libertarian Party.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


II. AL-02:

A. Current Representative: Barry Moore (R)

B. Population Distribution: 55% Urban, 45% Rural

C. Demographics: 63% White, 31% African American, 3% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+17 (Solid Republican)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 2nd District is located in the southeastern corner of the state and features most of the metropolitan area around Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. The state is bordered to the south by Florida and to the east by Georgia. The current Representative, Barry Moore, is a one-term Representative, first elected in 2020. In that election, Rep. Moore defeated his Democratic challenger by 31%. That Democratic challenger, Phyllis Harvey-Hall, is once again the Democratic nominee for this race. Although this district will be a bit closer in comparison to AL-01, only due to the fact that there is a Democrat running and will garner votes from liberal voters in the district, Rep. Moore has more than a 99% chance of winning reelection and may even increase his margin of victory compared to 2020.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


III. AL-03:

A. Current Representative: Mike Rogers (R)

B. Population Distribution: 50% Urban, 50% Rural

C. Demographics: 68% White, 25% African American, 3% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+19 (Solid Republican)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 3rd District takes in the entirety of eastern, central Alabama and features mostly rural farmland and small cities, as well as Auburn University. The district is bordered to the east by Georgia. The current Representative is Mike Rogers, who has been a member of the House for 20 years, first winning the seat in 2002. The district has swung heavily to the right over the past years: In Mike Rogers’ first election in 2002, he won the district by only 2%; whereas he won the district by 35% in 2020. Rep. Rogers, a NRA-endorsed Republican, is a Trump-friendly Republican running in a deep red district and thus has more than a 99% chance of winning reelection.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


IV. AL-04:

A. Current Representative: Robert Aderholt (R)

B. Population Distribution: 65% Rural, 35% Urban

C. Demographics: 84% White, 7% African American, 6% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+33 (Solid Republican)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 4th District is located in the northern, central part of the state, bordered by Georgia to the east and Mississippi to the West and is a very rural district. The only district in the country to give Donald Trump more than 80% of its vote in 2020, and the most Republican district in the country by CPVI score, the Alabama 4th District is as red as they come. The current Representative, Robert Aderholt, has been representing the 4th district since 1996 and is the most senior member of Alabama’s delegation to the House. A member of the Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Aderholt is a fiscal and social Conservative who has only voted with Pres. Joe Biden 7% of the time. In 2020, he won the election for the House by 55% and was only of a only a few House candidates to receive 80% of the vote in an election with a challenger from one of the two main political parties. He will most likely repeat this performance in 2022.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


V. AL-05:

A. Current Representative: Mo Brooks (R)

B. Population Distribution: 66% Urban, 34% Rural

C. Demographics: 73% White, 17% African American, 5% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+17 (Solid Republican)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 5th District occupies a narrow strip along the northern tip of Alabama, straddling the entirety of the border with Tennessee, and its western and eastern extremes also border Mississippi and Georgia respectively; the district also includes the city of Huntsville, home to many defense companies. The largely urban district is currently represented by Mo Brooks, who announced his intention to retire at the end of his term in 2023 and run for the state’s Senate seat. Therefore Rep. Brooks will not be running in this election. Instead, the Republican candidate in AL-05, Dale Strong, who received endorsements from the Tea Party as well as police and business organizations, will most likely take over Rep. Brooks’ seat. A solidly Republican seat, Mr. Strong is poised to continue Republican representation of Northern Alabama in Washington.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


VI. AL-06:

A. Current Representative: Gary Palmer (R)

B. Population Distribution: 69% Urban, 31% Rural

C. Demographics: 77% White, 15% African American, 5% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+19 (Solid Republican)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 6th District includes many of the suburbs around Birmingham, the state’s largest city, as well as rural areas in the center of the state. Its current Representative, Gary Palmer, has been representing the district since 2014. Co-Founder of a conservative think tank and member of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Palmer is a fiscal conservative and has a 92% approval rating from conservative groups. He will run essentially unopposed in this election, with a Libertarian candidate as his only opposition. He ran unopposed in 2020.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


VII. AL-07:

A. Current Representative: Terri Sewell (D)

B. Population Distribution: 72% Urban, 28% Rural

C. Demographics: 63% African American, 32% White, 3% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+14 (Solid Democrat)

E. Outlook: The Alabama 7th District is a very large district encompassing all of the western, central part of the state and the inner-city areas of both Birmingham and Montgomery, as well as Selma and Tuscaloosa and shares a border with Mississippi to the west. The only Democratic controlled district in the state, the Alabama 7th is also a minority-majority district. Its current Representative Terri Sewell has been a member of the House since 2010. A graduate of both Princeton and Harvard, Rep. Sewell has been the only Democrat within Alabama’s delegation to the House for the entirety of her term. She has ran unopposed in every election since 2014, but will have Republican opposition in this election. The AL-07 district was purposely created by Alabama lawmakers to be a strongly Democratic district, and this is shown in the elections for its House seat. Despite having true opposition, Rep. Sewell will win this district easily.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


Senate

As with every other state, Alabama has two seats in the Senate, with one of these seats being up for election in 2022. This senate seat was occupied by Republican Richard Shelby since 1986, but he announced that he would not be running for a seventh term. The Democratic candidate for this senate seat, Will Boyd, easily won the Democratic primary with 64% of the vote. Meanwhile, the Republican primary had to go to a run-off between Mo Brooks, Representative of Alabama’s 5th District, and Katie Britt, an Alabama native who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was the President of the Business Council of Alabama and Chief of Staff to former Sen. Shelby. In the run-off, Britt defeated Brooks easily, earning 63% of the vote. The win in the Republican primary essentially ensures that Britt will be the next senator from Alabama, since the state is so deeply Conservative. This race is categorized as “Solid Republican” by nearly all major news outlets.


Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Governor

The third and final race in Alabama is for Governor of the state. Incumbent Governor Kay Ivey (R) is the oldest Governor in the country and has been serving as the top politician of the state since 2017. Gov. Ivey won the Republican primary relatively easily, while her Democratic challenger, Yolanda Rochelle-Flowers, had a much tougher trip to the general election, earning her spot as Democratic nominee only after a run-off election which she won with 55% of the vote. Like many of the other races in this solidly Republican state, there is not much drama expected in the Governor’s race, which is categorized as “Solid Republican” by nearly all major news outlets.


Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Analysis

The Millennial Agora is predicting that all three races will only end in holds for both parties and no changes in the makeup of the House or Senate. With nearly all Democratic support limited to the inner-city areas of Birmingham and Montgomery, there is simply not enough Democrats in the states to challenge in areas outside of these cities, and there is not enough Republican support to challenge in AL-07.


Alabama is the beginning of a long journey of analyzing the midterm elections in all 50 states from now until November and many states will be much harder to predict than the deep red “Heart of Dixie”. Check back tomorrow where we look at Alaska, a state in which a Democrat just landed a huge upset victory in a special election earlier this month and which has become a very interesting state due to its ranked-choice voting system.



The state of the House after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com

The state of the Senate after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com (states in light grey have no Senate seats up for election this year)

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