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Analysis | Historical election results point to Troy King’s advantage in AL-2 race

Seven candidates are in a hunt to capture the Republican nomination for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House, a seat currently held by Congresswoman Martha Roby, who announced on July 26, 2019, that she would not seek re-election in 2020.

In August, before King’s official announcement, APR looked at his vote totals in the district from the 2018 Republican Primary in which he ran for attorney general in a crowded field of heavyweight contenders.

By the numbers: What if King runs for AL-2?

Over 12 years, King has consistently and overwhelmingly outpaced every opponent in the counties within AL-2 to win in Republican primaries.

In the 2018 primary match up with Birmingham attorney Chess Bedsole, appointed Attorney General Steve Marshall and former U.S Attorney Alice Martin, King handily dispatched each opponent in AL-2 with 46.05 percent of the vote in the four-way race.

In Crenshaw, Pike, Henry and Covington Counties, King earned over 50 percent of the vote.

No other candidate broke 25 percent in any county in AL-2 except for Marshall’s 27.44 percent in Montgomery County.

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Now that the field of contenders for AL-2 is settled, APR determined to take a further look at the historical vote counts in the district.

Again, King finds himself in a congested lane with many unknown candidates vying for the prized Republican nomination.

Vote totals going back to the 2006 Republican primary show King with a winning record in the counties that make up AL-2.

In his first bid for attorney general, King captured 82 percent of the vote in AL-2. King went on to win the attorney general’s race.

Between his 2006 victory and the 2010 Republican primary, King found himself at odds with then-Gov. Bob Riley. Because of the tension between him and Riley, Luther Strange was tapped to oppose King in the 2010 Republican primary. Despite Strange having Riley’s support, King quickly dispatched Riley’s man in AL-2 by 55 percent to 45 percent. While Strange went on the win the primary and general election King’s performance in the Wire Grass was overwhelmingly positive.

The Republican primary results in 2018, proved to be a repeat performance with King besting then-appointed attorney general Steve Marshall 55 to 45 percent.

Of the seven running for AL-2, only former state Rep. Barry Moore and former Attorney general Troy King have a substantial election record in the district.

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Thomas W. Brown, Jr., Jeff Coleman, Terri Hasdorff, Bob Rogers and Jessica Taylor join Moore and King in the race. Brown, Coleman, Hasdorff and Taylor are newcomers with no election results to review.

Rogers mounted an unsuccessful run against Roby in the March 2016 primary in which he only garnered 5.8 percent of the vote.

Moore was a candidate for AL-2 in 2018, winning 19.3 percent of the primary vote against Roby.

Moore was elected twice as a state representative from the district.

Many factors are present in a winning campaign, not the least of which is name ID, which is a good head start for King and Moore in a crowded field of candidates.

King’s winning record should worry lesser-known contestants. However, money, the mood of the electorate and other things can determine the outcome of any election.

For now, historical data seems to indicates King is in a strong position.

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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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