Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shelby Safe

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise in what's looking like a strong year for Republicans, but Alabama Senator Richard Shelby appears to be safe for reelection this fall.

55% of voters in the state say they'll vote for Shelby compared to just 37% who are inclined to vote Democratic. Shelby has a 54-29 advantage among independents and wins 93% of the Republican vote.

Shelby would probably be safe under any circumstances, but GOP prospects in Alabama this year are likely to be buoyed by Barack Obama's unpopularity in the state. Only 42% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 55% giving him bad marks. That actually makes this a rare state where Obama's popularity now is about the same as it was on election day in 2008. That's because Alabama has a heavy black population and his popularity with them has remained pretty steady even as it's gone downhill with whites. 96% of African Americans but only 23% of whites think Obama's doing a good job.

Opposition to the health care bill is strong, as is support for repealing it. 56% of voters say they don't like the bill that was passed last week to only 39% who express approval of it. 54% of voters think it should be repealed with 40% opposed.

Shelby and Jeff Sessions have virtually identical approval numbers. Shelby's approval spread is 44/34 and Sessions' is 41/34. Under normal circumstances those would be pretty mediocre, but in a political climate when voters are down on politicians to an unusual extent those represent above average ratings for Senators.

Full results here

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