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Secretary of State John Merrill predicts good turnout for Tuesday’s primary


Secretary of State John Merrill is expecting a good turnout for Tuesday’s Republican and Democrat primary.

“We anticipate between 25 and 30 present of our registered voters participating in the primary on Tuesday,” Merrill informed Alabama Political Reporter on Sunday. “That would mean between 844,00 and 1.1 million people would go to the polls,” Tuesday, Merrill predicts.

High profile races in both the Democrat and Republican primaries almost assure people will get out to vote, especially given the heated Governor’s run on the Democrat side between former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.

Recent polls shared with APR show Maddox favored to win, but Cobb isn’t to be counted out with the crowded field of five candidates.

On the Republican side, current Gov. Kay Ivey is polling well, but some see an opening for Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, but it looks increasingly like a long shot.

Election observers think Battle is setting up a race for 2022, and State Senator Bill Hightower has recently been spending most of his ad buys in Mobile where he could challenge U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne in his bid to unseat Democrat U.S. Senator Doug Jones in 2020.

In the Republican attorney general’s contest, nearly a million dollars in out-of-state money have flowed into Steve Marshall’s campaign as he tries to retain the position disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley gave him. Polling shared with APR shows former Attorney General Troy King leading the field with former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin pulling into second, with Marshall and Trump finance man Chess Bedsole in a statistical dead heat for a third-place finish.

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The only other genuinely competitive race on the Republican ticket is between appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Lyn Stewart and Associate Justice Tom Parker. Parker is besting Stewart in every poll.

Democrats are posting a competitive slate of candidates in a down-ballot contest where a strong showing by female candidates is expected to catch some much needed attention for the struggling minority party.

“We will see a good turnout which should be higher than what we had in 2014, but still is not expected to reach the 1.25 million that we saw in 2016,” said Merrill.


Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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