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Hansen says he’s an “unapologetic progressive”

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, August 1: Democratic Candidate for US Senate Michael Hansen told The Alabama Political Reporter (APR) that he is the candidate in the Democratic Primary with real energy and shared polling data with APR showing the Democratic race to be very competitive.

Hansen said, “Democrats in Alabama have a clear choice this election. They can select a centrist that’s indistinguishable from the pack, or rally behind a candidate with real energy. As an unapologetic progressive, I’m talking about pocketbook issues that cross party lines. Healthcare, wages, and the environment resonate with real voters and that’s how I’m winning.”

A recent poll by Strategies Research of Mobile commissioned by Raycom had Robert Kennedy Jr. with 49 percent of the likely Democratic Primary votes and Doug Jones second with 26 percent.

Hansen said, “Regarding the poll: We conducted our own polling — which was done much more professionally than that questionable Raycom poll. (attached) We believe we are in the mix for a runoff with either Kennedy or Jones. My message is resonating with Alabama voters who are fed up with the status quo.”

Hansen added, “Recent polling reveals a likely runoff for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Newcomer Robert Kennedy, Jr. leads among Democrats, environmentalist Michael Hansen is running in second while Doug Jones, Jason Fisher, and Will Boyd compete for third. The margin of error is ± 4.78 percent. Lacking a clear majority vote August 15, the top two candidates will advance to the Democratic runoff September 26.”

Hansen said, “Some candidates have outspent our campaign five-fold yet lag in polls. What this shows is that money can’t buy an election. We’re positioned as the credible contender for the Democratic nomination.  Each week I’m leveraging new media to have one-on-one discussions with voters across this state. It’s working, polling shows we’re strong statewide and in every district. My shoestring budget proves that issues matter more than money. This election is about Medicare for All, a $15 living wage, and clean energy by 2030. When you have issues that resonate, people listen.”

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Hansen shared raw polling data prepared by GLEAN.  Voters were asked If the election for United States Senate were today and these 5 names were on the ballot, would you vote for? Then they were given the choices of: Boyd, Fisher, Hansen, Jones, Kennedy, and none of the above.  None of the above got 62.1 percent of the vote as most of those people are voting in the Republican Primary.  Robert Kennedy Jr. got 19.1 percent, Michael Hansen 7.1, Doug Jones 5.1, Jason Fisher 3.2, and Will Boyd 3.1.  If you then divide that by the cumulated percentage for the five Democrats and assume that that is the total Democratic voters participating in the primary (a dangerous assumption as two candidates are left out of the field in this survey,); then Kennedy is leading the field with 50 percent of the vote, Hansen has 19 percent, Jones 16 percent, Fisher 8 percent and Boyd 8 percent.  According to the polling Kennedy is much more favored by Black voters and Doug Jones’ support is concentrated in the fifth and seventh congressional districts.  Hansen is more of a statewide candidate.

Hansen is in a strong second, but if Kennedy can take over 50 percent there might not be a Democratic Primary runoff.

On the Republican side, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was leading with 37 percent of the Republican vote.  Congressman Mo Brooks had 26 percent, Senator Luther Strange had 25 percent, State Senator Trip Pittman has 7 percent, and Dr. Randy Brinson had 6 percent.   Though again only 5 of the 9 GOP candidates are covered in this poll and this polling data is almost three weeks old.

Over the weekend, Joe Reed and the powerful Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) endorsed Birmingham Attorney Doug Jones in the Primary.  APR asked Hansen about this development.  Hansen said, “Regarding the ADC endorsement: I did not seek nor did I receive the endorsement of the ADC. I wish Doug well.”

If elected to the US Senate, Michael Hansen would be the first openly gay person ever elected to any statewide office in Alabama.

There are seven candidates running in the Alabama Democratic Party special primary election for US Senate. Qualified candidates are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Charles Nana.

Brian McGee has dropped out of the race and endorsed Doug Jones.

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The candidates are running for the Senate vacancy created when Senator Jeff Sessions (R) was confirmed by the Senate as US Attorney General.  Former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley selected then Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) to fill the post until the people can select their own replacement.

The winner of the Democratic Party Primary will face the winner of the Republican Party Primary in the Special General Election on December 12.  If necessary there will be a Special Primary runoff election on September 26.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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