AL-02: Bright’s Big Lead

Anzalone-Liszt for Bobby Bright (2/8-11, likely voters):

Bobby Bright (D-inc): 54

Martha Roby (R): 30

Bobby Bright (D-inc): 55

Stephanie Bell (R): 29

Bobby Bright (D-inc): 58

Rick Barber (R): 26

(MoE: ±4.4%)

Very, very good numbers for Bobby Bright — especially when you consider that Bright sits at the top of SSP’s House Vulnerability Index for Democratic-held seats. Bright hasn’t made it easy for Republicans, toeing a very conservative line on almost every major vote and touting that style in his outreach. He enjoys a solid 68-25 favorability rating and a 67% job approval rating.

On paper, Bright should be one of the easiest Dems to knock off this year, but so far, it seems that he’s beating the odds.

UPDATE: Here’s something I glazed over the first time around — and something that the “But it’s an internal poll!” crowd may want to consider. Straight from the mouth of Republican Stephanie Bell:

Bell, who has served on the school board since 1995, said the numbers are similar to other polls she has heard about, but have not been released. She also said she respected polling from Anzalone-Liszt.

RaceTracker Wiki: AL-02

83 thoughts on “AL-02: Bright’s Big Lead”

  1. jaw just dropped from seeing these numbers. Not only is he leading but hes even in the mid to high 50s against his opponents. Looks like both Bright and Perriello actually have a good chance of holding their seats. Now what I would like to see is Minnick being polled.  

  2. Maybe or seven or eight? This is second presumed dead Dem not dead at all after Perriello. Coupled with the PPP for Larry Kissell it shows quite a mixed bag.

  3. as “only” the 16th most vulnerable Dem, but I still had him down as a narrow loss.  This along with the poll showing Kissell up big suggests that the South is not as fertile as thought.  Wonder if Childers is looking good too.  This also makes me feel better about TN-08, AR-01, and AR-02, which I have predicted all along we will win.  Starting to think Republican gains will be primarily in the economically ravaged Rust Belt.

  4. Republicans are working weak in this district (and they are working worse in others).

    Every new about congressional elections make me think they are not signs for think democrats can lose more than 15 house seats.

  5. Is not with the poll results (which I believe), but the same reason I don’t think Republicans should get too giddy about the Delaware Senate polling results: it’s early, and this is a difficult district for a Dem to hold. Once the campaigns start in earnest, I will bet you the polls tighten considerably (which is not to say Bright won’t win. Honestly, other than voting for Pelosi for speaker, I can’t think of a single important vote he’s done that’s favored the Dems, so why wouldn’t they reelect him?).  

  6. 1. I would like to see another poll to confirm these numbers.

    2.  If this is true, it would be great it he voted for the HCR bill.  Sure he’ll lose some approval points, but his worst margin here is a 24 point lead.  spare a few points for HCR bobby.

  7. But, yeah, these numbers are pretty amazing. They’re also almost certain to drop when the campaign is in full swing (though I’ll bet the NRCC has to pour in money to help out Roby), but still, wow.

    Now we just need a poll on ID-01!

    And also MS-01!

  8. Southern Dems are dropping like flies, yet freshman Bright is getting away scot-free? Is it because he has yet to vote with the Democrats on a single piece of substantive legislation?

  9. There are so many pictures and stories of him interacting with his constituents. I think people really appreciate it when they feel like their congressman is accessible and is trying to reach out to them, and this is something that transcends ideology. A lot of NC Democrats who despised Jesse Helms’ voting record still voted for him anyway because of his good constituent service. This may be why part of why Bright is doing so well.

    Similarly, remember how Perriello had 17 town halls on healthcare over the course of one month over the summer? He may be experiencing the same effect as reflected in the fact that he is polling even despite his votes for nearly all of the Democratic bills. People like to feel like they can access their representatives and that they aren’t being taken for granted.

  10. Work hard, vote as left as your district can possibly tolerate, and then make Team Red waste millions of dollars trying to win back a district they should easily win.

  11. though the real campaign has yet to begin, I always felt Bright was stronger than many freshmen Dems from swing or GOP leaning districts and is pretty much on his way to being the Gene Taylor of AL (though less a populist rather than a straight down conservative Dem).

    I think there are really three categories of Southern white democratic members of Congress:

    The George Mahon Pros : Bright, Taylor, Marhsall, Lincoln, Chandler and Melancon (before he retired), and to some extent Boyd, Edwards, Etheridge and McIntyre: these are folks who have not drawn top challengers in part b/c they truly are not liberals, have very good constituent service and even though they are not ideologically in sync with the average Democrat (except maybe Edwards to some extent), they absolutley despise the GOP even more and will do anything to put the fear of God into anyone who runs against them.

    The Jim Turner and Butler Derrick wobblies: Perriello, Childers, Nye and Barrow and for other reasons Boucher, Tanner, Gordon, Snyder, Spratt:

    The first batch of wobblies are, in part due to their newness to Congress, trying to play it safe (but Bright was a newbie too), but are missing the forest for the trees. Maybe they are somewhat liberal at heart (I doubt Childers is) or confuse cherry picking votes with establishing an image of independence, but I think what they have so far failed to do since coming to Congress was to clearly stake out their image as sufficiently indepedent of the leadership AND affirmatively and regularly make that case loud and clear to voters back home. I think by not doing that they allowed the GOP to tell their story and unfortunately may not hold on come Nov…I will say of this batch, Barrow’s is the least Republican leaning but his problem is that he is not a very bright political strategist: he fails to maximise the power of the sizeable black voters in his district but tries to please the folks who won’t vote for him or his party.

    As per the second batch, these are folks I think have been in DC so long they may have forgotten who their voters were (particularly Bart Gordon, who skated by with no name challenges in a district that turned crimson red fast….even Clinton lost it twice, and then when a true challenger came he bailed like a coward!). While they try to be middle of the roaders, I don’t think they know when to anticipate dicey votes or even know when to be populist or conservative when it matters and unfortunately, this gives their GOP opponents unearned ammo. I still think and hope Boucher and Spratt win their races, but I honestly won’t be surprised if they lost (it could also be their constituents are just too susceptible to right-wing BS there’s no point educating them).

    The Dave McCurdy Asshats: Griffith (when he was a Dem), Boren….the heading says it all. They care about no one but themselves and are willing to scew over their own constituents by voting against any piece of good legislation just because it was initiated by the Democratic party. They truly are asshats and not worth the salt they carry.  

  12. all over the keyboard.  These numbers can’t possibly be real.  Bright up by over 20 points on all challengers in an R+16 district?!  

    Words cannot even begin to describe how stunned I am to see this.  Unbelievable.  I’m going to need to see some independent polling on this race because prior to seeing this I thought this was a no-doubter for the Republicans.

    Here’s the big question.  If Team Red can’t win this seat, then what seats can they win?  You’d think this (aside from TN-6, LA-3, and a few others) would be the first to go in a bad election cycle.  Along with the polls so far on people like Kissell and Perriello, things aren’t looking too bad for congressional democrats right now, at least not as bad as everybody seems to think.

  13. He served as mayor of Montgomery for 10 years, so he’s pretty popular down there. I’d like to see how Childers is polling, or any of Melancon’s potential replacements are doing.

    I still think that Democrats are going to be getting killed in the South over the next few years. We might not see the full extent of this on the national level yet (with people like Bright and Gene Taylor who are very popular on a personal level), but I would be very surprised if we don’t suffer heavy losses in state legislatures, for instance.

  14. I will readily admit that I totally, unequivocally, underestimated Bobby Bright’s appeal in District 2.  I thought any poll would have Bright no more than a few points ahead.  I had Bright as the 8th most vulnerable Democrat in this cycle.  Based on this information, I think I totally screwed this one up.  I’d like some additional polling on this race, but just based on this one poll I can tell that Bright has the touch to become entrenched for many years.

    I know many SSP posters do not care for Bright, but I can’t imagine a better Democrat than Bright for this district without losing the next election.  I’ll take Bright.

  15. If the DCCC never has to spend a cent on Bright, I’ll never say a bad word about him ever again.

  16. I love how he doesn’t provide any specifics, of course.

    Barber, who has been active in the Tea Party movement and advocates a fair tax, said he entered the race just a few weeks ago, has never held public office and people consider him an unknown.

    Barber, a Marine Corps veteran, said he is telling people the Blue Dog Democrat label is not what it is advertised to be and that Bright does not have the conservative voting record that the district deserves. Bright is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of conservative Democrats.

    Barber said Bright is voting against bills his constituents do not want on the House floor, but the people in the district want “leadership out there fighting the bills.”

    Um, so point to me where he doesn’t have a conservative voting record.  Or is it that because he voted for Pelosi for Speaker, that automatically brands him as not conservative?

  17. Here’s a link to the Memo (courtesy of Doc’s Political Parlor)

    I’ve said it before, Bright’s got a coalition that’s difficult to beat. He’s got roots in the rural Wiregrass portion, but had a popular stint as Mayor of Montgomery. It’s basically the best of both worlds.

    These numbers are amazing.

    Other than Gene Taylor and Jim Marshall, Bobby Bright is my favorite Congressman. It’s funny to me, because if I moved an hour or so west, Bright would be my Congressman, but if I move an hour or so east, Marshall would be my Congressman (again).

    Bright needs to be looked at as an example of the type of Democrat we need if we want to compete in some of these Georgia seats. Obviously the dynamics would be different, but there are still a ton of Conservative Democrats out there

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