Democrat nominee for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Robert Vance is up with a big ad buy in all the major Alabama markets: 1,300 gross ratings points in Birmingham, 1,000 in Huntsville, 1,000 in Montgomery and 500 in Mobile. The ad is titled “Service” and can be seen below.
The digs at Moore are subtle, but they are definitely there. Vance plays up his ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats. The implication of course is that Moore is so polarizing he wouldn’t be able to do the same. The ad closes with “Bob Vance, Chief Justice for all Alabama,” implying, again, that Moore represents only a sliver of the population.
The ad illustrates the Vance strategy to peel away moderate Republicans which they believe Moore is struggling to pull firmly into his camp.
All of the polling Yellowhammer has seen since 2010 suggests that it’s going to be incredibly difficult for ANY Democrat to win statewide office in Alabama for the foreseeable future. The Vance campaign is fighting that perception (reality) tooth and nail and recently put out a poll of their own which they claim shows Alabamians as being more willing to embrace judicial candidates from both sides of the aisle. The memo sent out by the Vance campaign showed Moore leading Vance by a surprisingly slim margin of 3%. The poll’s generic ballot also showed Republicans only holding a 1 point lead over Democrats (39%-38%). “Alabama may be a red state, but when it comes to the election for Supreme Court Chief Justice, voters are willing to look at candidates from both parties,” the Vance campaign’s pollster said.
As we mentioned in last week’s Rumors & Rumblings, we’re not buying it. No recent data shows the Alabama electorate self-identifying as Republican less than about 45%.
It’s an understandable strategy by the Vance campaign, but we’ve seen no previous evidence to suggest Alabama voters are embracing Democrat judicial candidates any more than they are Democrats running for any other elected office. After all, let’s not forget that every single seat on the Alabama Supreme Court and Appellate Court is currently held by a Republican.