Democrats are positioned to gain a congressional seat in the traditionally Republican stronghold of Alabama. However, as the primary for the 2nd Congressional District approaches in a month, the Democratic nominee remains uncertain.
An internal poll, exclusively obtained by POLITICO and conducted by Lester & Associates for Democrat Shomari Figures’ campaign, indicates that no candidate in the crowded Democratic primary is anywhere close to the required 50 percent needed to secure a primary win.
With 11 candidates on the ballot, a runoff on April 16 seems likely as no candidate is expected to secure a majority on March 5.
State Rep. Napoleon Bracy emerges with 16 percent support in the poll, while Figures, a former deputy chief of staff and counselor to Attorney General Merrick Garland, closely follows with 13 percent.
The remaining candidates, many of whom hold local elected positions, have single-digit percentages. State House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels polls at 8 percent; state Sen. Merika Coleman at 6 percent; James Averhart, executive director of the NAACP Alabama State Conference, at 4 percent; state Rep. Jeremy Gray at 3 percent; and state Rep. Juandalynn Givan at 1 percent.
A significant 49 percent of respondents remain undecided, leaving ample room for shifts in these standings.
In terms of fundraising, Figures outpaced Bracy by over $100,000, as revealed by campaign finance filings covering the last quarter of 2023.
This opportunity for Democrats in Alabama stems from the redrawing of the congressional map last fall. Federal judges mandated the redrawing, asserting that the lines drawn by the GOP-controlled state legislature potentially violated the Voting Rights Act by diminishing the influence of Black voters, who constitute about a quarter of the state’s population. The newly configured AL-02 has an almost 49 percent Black voting-age population.
Republican Rep. Barry Moore, the current representative for AL-02, has been redrawn out of this district. He now faces a challenging primary against Rep. Jerry Carl in AL-01.
Despite the Democratic advantage in potentially securing an additional seat, Republicans are not relinquishing their efforts. Former state Sen. Dick Brewbaker and attorney Caroleene Dobson have been actively engaging with voters through media campaigns. Both candidates have already injected substantial personal funds into their campaigns, according to recent campaign finance reports.