I am intrigued at the prospects of Congressman Artur Davis being elected the first black governor of Alabama. If Barack Obama can win the White House, Davis can surely get elected in the state of Alabama, right?? While its a possibility, the dynamics are much different. First off, he must get past Agricultural Commissioner Ron Sparks in the Democratic primary.
President Obama only won 38% of the vote in Alabama, and only 35 % of the voters in Alabama approve of the job the president has been doing thus far. Davis’ success in his quest for governor depends largely on how successful he is at distancing himself from Obama, and conveying the message that he is focused on the voters of Alabama, and not whats going on in Washington. He must also show an independent streak, and prove that he has the skills necessary to be successful in working with the legislature. Even though Democrats control the house and senate in Alabama
, they happen to be conservative Democrats, and the Alabama legislature has been considered for a long time to be one of the most conservative legislatures in the country.
Artur Davis voting record has been moderate by most accounts, which puts him in a good position to run for a statewide office in Alabama. He voted no on the automobile bailouts, and climate change. He has also stood out in his opposition to healthcare reform as it stands. According to Mary Orndorff of the Birmingham News, Davis said that his opposition to the healthcare bill had to do with his concerns over Medicare and Medicaid. That may be legitimate, but I suspect that Davis wants to align himself with the voters of Alabama, in which a majority oppose the healthcare bill.
I checked out the Cook Political Report, and they still have pegged this race as leaning Republican. I my opinion, Davis still has a shot to pull off an upset. It is all on the voters of Alabama,and if they can put race aside and vote for the best candidate.