Alabama Primary Previews

USA Election Watch
4 min readJun 5, 2018

Gubernatorial Election (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Candidates: Sue Bell Cobb, Chris Countryman, James Fields, Walter Maddox, Doug Smith, Anthony Smith

Overview: There are two clear favorites in this race and the biggest question is whether one of them advances without a runoff. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox is the stronger of these candidates and probably will be around the 50% support he needs to avoid a runoff. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb would likely end up in the runoff based on her strong candidacy if Maddox failed to reach 50%. A few other candidates could get enough support to send the race to a runoff, but this really seems to be a two-candidate race.

Prediction: Walter Maddox (45%) and Sue Bell Cobb (35%) advance to a runoff

Republican Primary

Candidates: Kay Ivey (incumbent), Tommy Battle, Scott Dawson, Bill Hightower, Michael McAllister

Overview: Kay Ivey was expected to face a much stronger challenge than this in the primary election, but she has managed to shoot up in popularity since taking over from scandal plagued Robert Bentley in 2017. Her only strong challenger is Tommy Battle, the mayor of Huntsville, who has good support in northern rural parts of the state. Scott Dawson, who was endorsed by Mike Huckabee, and State Senator Bill Hightower could grab some votes, but at this point it doesn’t seem that likely Ivey will even end up in a runoff.

Prediction: Kay Ivey wins with 60% of the vote.

Alabama’s 1st Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Candidates: Robert Kennedy Jr., Lizzetta Hill McConnell

Overview: Anyone could win this low turnout primary, but Robert Kennedy Jr. has the slight name recognition advantage from finishing second to Doug Jones in the 2017 Senate Special election primary. However, although both candidates are black, Lizzetta Hill McConnell has more connection to the African American base of the party, having served as the head of the Mobile County NAACP. As a result, I would say she is the slight favorite in a partisan primary

Prediction: Lizzetta Hill McConnell wins with 55% of the vote

Republican Primary

Incumbent Bradley Byrne is unopposed.

Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Candidates: Tabithia Isner, Audri Scott Williams

Overview: Two candidates are running on the Democratic side in this primary, and either could win as there is not much to separate the two. Both are first time candidates with center left platforms overall, but Audri Scott Williams might be the slight favorite due to her higher experience in the community

Prediction: Audri Scott Williams wins with 55% of the vote

Republican Primary

Candidates: Martha Roby (incumbent), Tommy Amason, Bobby Bright, Rich Hobson, Barry Moore

Overview: Martha Roby is a very unpopular incumbent in this district and three candidates look set to provide strong challenges to her in this primary. The first is Bobby Bright, who represented this seat as a Democrat from 2008 to 2010. Bright will be relying on conservative area Democrats to decide to vote for him in the Republican primary. State Representative Barry Moore is setting himself up as the closest to Trump, and will probably get a lot of support outside the Montgomery area. Rich Hobson is a former aide to Roy Moore, and has the disgraced former Senate candidate’s endorsement in this race. The biggest question will be Roby’s ability to reach 50% in this primary. If she doesn’t, she will likely be forced into a runoff with Bright.

Prediction: Martha Roby (45%) and Bobby Bright (25%) advance to a runoff

Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Candidates: Mallory Hagan, Adia McClellan Winfrey

Overview: Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013 winner and current newscaster, is the slight favorite in this primary. She has good name recognition in the district for her pageant win, while also having really strong family roots in the district. Adia McClellan Winfrey also has deep family roots in the area, but will be hurt by the fact that she just recently moved to the district from Louisville. However, she will be helped in this election by the fact that she is the only African American candidate in this race

Prediction: Mallory Hagan wins with 60% of the vote

Republican Primary

Incumbent Mike Rogers is unopposed.

Alabama’s 4th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Candidates: Lee Auman, Rick Neighbors

Overview: This will be another difficult to predict election, given the likely low Democratic primary turnout. However, Rick Neighbors is the slight current favorite, given his stronger amount of roots in the district.

Prediction: Rick Neighbors wins with 60% of the vote.

Republican Primary

Candidates: Robert Aderholt (incumbent), Anthony Blackmon

Overview: Robert Aderholt doesn’t seem to be in too much trouble in this primary and should breeze by rather easily.

Prediction: Robert Aderholt wins with 80% of the vote.

Alabama’s 5th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Peter Joffrion is unopposed

Republican Primary

Candidates: Mo Brooks (incumbent), Clayton Hinchman

Overview: Mo Brooks’ antiestablishment conservatism can be rather divisive at times, even in a largely conservative district. As a result, it isn’t that surprising that he’s picked up a challenge from the establishment in Clayton Hinchman, a businessman and Iraq War veteran. Hinchman has run a strong campaign and will likely be a factor in this seat in years to come, but for now probably will have a tough fight against the district’s hardline conservative base.

Prediction: Mo Brooks wins with 65% of the vote.

Alabama’s 6th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Danner Kline is unopposed

Republican Primary

Incumbent Gary Palmer is unopposed

Alabama’s 7th Congressional District (Democratic Defense, Incumbent Running)

Democratic Primary

Incumbent Terri Sewell is unopposed

Republican Primary

No Republican candidates filed to run.

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